Working parents all around the country will be familiar with the stress of trying to get to their children’s school on time so they are not late for pick-up. Not only do they not want their youngsters to be stuck waiting for them, but they are also desperate to avoid hefty late fees.
According to the latest research from Direct Line Life Insurance, British mothers and fathers have spent a huge £151 million in the last year alone on charges for picking up their children late from nursery, school and childminders. This is despite parents typically only arriving late three times on average over the last 12 months, paying £25.10 in total.
Some 259,000 people have forked out more than £100 in fines, which is not hard to do for those living in areas where late fees can be as much as £50 a go.
Business manager at the insurance provider Jane Morgan stated: “With long working hours and people having to commute from their place of work, it can be difficult for parents to ensure they pick their children up on time.”
She stated that many rely on friends and family to pick their kids up on time; however, this is not possible for everyone, with Ms Morgan adding lots of “people are being stung by huge and sometimes disproportionate fines for extended wraparound care”.
These charges are another reason why many parents look for childcare through an au pair agency in the UK. This enables them to ensure their kids are collected from school on time and looked after at home, without having to worry about rushing back from work.
Au pairs are also great at providing childcare during holidays, as many families struggle to take time off from work or find friends or family who can help out in school breaks. Many youngsters are currently enjoying a two-week half-term, depending on where they live in the UK, making the problem of holiday childcare even bigger for working parents in those areas.