Emergency Childcare, a company specialising in providing last minute childcare
for working parents, this morning reported a 70 per cent increase in the
number of bookings made for tomorrow.
On an average day the company has 500 hours of emergency childcare booked, but
there are already more than 840 hours booked for tomorrow, and according to
the company, this number is predicted to increase throughout the day.
Andy Major, operations manager at Emergency Childcare said parents had been
“severely affected by the strike” adding that, while lots of people do leave
it till the last minute, having a plan in place is key.
“We expect the afternoon to be very busy,” he said. “Back in
March, during the previous NUT strike, we had over 1,000 hours booked, so we
expect to see a similar increase, maybe even 1,200 hours of emergency
If booking figures do reach 1,200 hours, as predicted, this would indicate a
140 per cent increase in emergency childcare overall.
However, last minute bookings have also increased, with the company reporting
that 500 of the 840 hours booked for tomorrow were actually allocated this
morning, amounting to a 400 per cent increase on the 100 hours normally
booked in the morning for that same day or the next.
Mr Major attributes the number of last minute bookings, to parents hoping for
a last minute decision to end the strike. However, he advises parents to get
in touch before the 7pm closing time, to avoid missing out on securing a
“If you have already booked emergency childcare and then the strike is
called off, it can be annoying, however there comes a point when you have to
make a decision. While some employers will allow their staff time off, many
employees simply need to be at work. In this case, Emergency Childcare could
be the solution.”
The company offers parents the opportunity to book emergency childcare across
the UK, with as little as two hours notice, by entering a postcode and
registering an online request.
But with the cost of childcare starting at £7 per hour for childminders and
£10 per hour for nannies, some parents could struggle to meet this cost.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, said that teachers “deeply
regret” having to take strike action, but said it was a “last
resort” following Government talks failing to address issues raised by
“We are aware that this causes problems and disruption for parents and
carers,” she said. “However, despite months in talks with
Government officials, the real issues of our dispute over pay, pensions and
conditions of service have not been addressed.
“The fact that teachers are prepared to take strike action is an
indication of the strength of feeling and anger about the Government’s
A spokesperson for the Department for Education said that there was ” no
justification for further strikes.”
“The unions asked for talks, we agreed to their request and talks are
ongoing. Ministers have also met frequently with the unions and will
continue to do so.
“Further strike action will only disrupt parents’ lives, hold back
children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession.
This week, Grant Shapps, the Conservative Party chairman, condemned Tristrum
Hunt, the shadow education secretary for repeatedly
refusing to condemn the teachers’ strike. He called it a “slap
in the face for parents struggling to look after their children.”
“Some parents will lose earnings because of this strike: and yet Labour
won’t speak out against it going ahead,” he said.
More info: Emergency
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NUT strike: childcare bookings increase by 70 per cent
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