Working Parents Round-Up: Can we have an extra hour please?

working parents roundupSo Nick Clegg is going to block any childcare reforms in the UK that seek to raise the ratios in nurseries…a spokesperson for the deputy prime minister said:

“The delivery of good quality, affordable childcare is one of Nick Clegg’s biggest priorities in government.

“He has looked very closely at proposals to increase the number of children each adult can look after – and at the very serious concerns raised by parents and childcare providers in the recent government consultation.

“Nick remains to be persuaded that this is the right thing to do for very young children. Or, crucially, to be persuaded that this would actually help families with high childcare costs. This continues to be discussed in government.”

Well said, Mr Clegg. I totally agree. However, there still remains a significant problem here in the UK that childcare costs are too high for some mothers who want to work, to be able to return to work. The principle behind Truss’ idea was correct; its the execution that hasn’t been well thought through. What we now need is someone not just to block those ideas, but to actually come up with alternatives. Now that, Mr Clegg, would see people voting for you in their droves I am sure….

Something else that needs doing, Mr Clegg, is getting an extra hour in the day for all parents; that would be an even bigger vote winner for you, I am sure. Muddling Along Mummy is requesting this extra hour – putting her petition to “whoever is in charge of time and space and all that sort of stuff.” Good luck with that, I say; I’ll definitely be supporting this one.

I guess that one way to deal with the UK’s rising childcare costs is to manage those budgets just that little bit tighter.

Working Mum Cookbook has shown this month that its possible to feed the family on £1.00 a day. This is part of the Live Below the Line Challenge. This organisation is trying to raise awareness of the fact that 1.4 billion people are currently living in extreme poverty. Believe it or not, it is possible; its not gourmet, but it can be done. It really is amazing what we can do as parents when we put our mind to it, and we really do have no other choice….

Our children do stretch us to our limits. Those who don’t have children can sometimes find it hard to understand those who do. Josie’s Juice features the story of a mum who has found the sympathy that other mothers can bring critical to her happiness at work. Now she doesn’t have it anymore, she really misses it.

How are the young ‘uns expected to know what mums, and indeed working mums, have to deal with, particularly when sometimes we don’t quite get it ourselves? Essentially Jess puts it rather well. She explain how she used to judge the working mum….what exactly ARE you complaining about? But now she has had to work herself recently, she is not so quick to question why those eyes are looking so tired, or the hair hasn’t been brushed for days. Mums the Boss has even written about how toddlers can teach us a thing or two about juggling the work! I suspect that we have all been there when one of the balls, or in Working Mum on the Verge’s case, one of the plates, got dropped…

In fact, I was rather pleasantly surprised when I came across a blog post from United Arab Emirates from Circles in the Sand, which talks about something that I dread every year, the book character day; World Book Day here in the UK of course. I can picture the scene exactly as I try and find something that my kids can wear that doesn’t require an NVQ in art, or 3 free days when there are only 6 hours to go to the event. It’s so nice to see these struggles are occurring everywhere and not just in my corner of Essex.

My daughter continues to strive to become an author/illustrator, and her blog post on KiddyCharts about her excitement at the forthcoming Moshi Monsters event was rather cute even if I do say so myself. She has broken her blog duck! However, I do fear that somewhere within her there lurks the librarian gene…or at least the Stickers, Stars and Smiles post from the last month would suggest this was the case…

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About Helen Neale

Helen is the editor of the working parents round up, a freelance writer and owner of personalised children’s chart business, KiddyCharts. She was a business analyst, and then a tweed-skirted school librarian as she tried to find work that fitted in with the demands of motherhood. Mummy’s Little Stars is where you will find her sometimes funny musings about life as a working parent, and mum to some over exuberant small people. She has only been blogging since January 2012, so go gentle with her; she might break. You can find Helen on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn; where she probably hangs out a bit too much.