Posted: Thursday 22nd June 2017
It’s Good Care Week and we’re proud to celebrate our fantastic care workforce in Hertfordshire.We know how difficult it can be to juggle affordable childcare with work during the summer holidays. To help our care workforce, we have developed a pilot initiative in partnership with the Hertfordshire Care Providers Association (HCPA) to provide funding to support care providers who have a homecare contract with Herts County Council with childcare payments during the school holidays. This will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
The summer holiday period is a challenging time for homecare providers. Because many of their staff with school-aged children struggle to access affordable childcare, this can cause staffing issues and can create a knock-on effect on the experience of people using these vital services.
Cabinet Member for Adult Care & Health, Colette Wyatt-Lowe said: “At Hertfordshire County Council, we care for our care workforce. The key to providing good care to our residents is to provide great support to our workers who are delivering that care. We believe that it is vital to meet with our care workers and spend time to understand their needs and hopefully make, their often very demanding jobs, easier.”
Care practitioner and single parent Lisa Harvey was struggling to access affordable childcare for her children during the summer holidays.
She said: “As it stands, I can only work four hours a day, which isn’t a lot. It’s a bigger problem in the summer holidays because we need more childcare. It doesn’t leave me a lot of money to take my kids out and spend quality time with them because all of my earned money is spent on childcare.” Lisa added that some extra support with childcare costs would make a huge difference to her family during the summer holidays.
“As a single parent, we do get some government help towards childcare costs, but some extra money towards childcare would be helpful and it would make things a lot easier for us. It also means I can work longer hours.”
From the start of the summer holidays, a certain number of homecare staff will be eligible for a financial subsidy to spend on registered childcare in return for a commitment to working a certain number of hours in a care setting. HCPA will be administering the scheme on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council.
This means care staff will be able to afford childcare and maintain their working hours, enabling us to ensure a more stable service during the holiday period.
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