Parents let down by summer childcare provision, says Mencap

Parents of children with learning disabilities, including autism, are struggling to find childcare and support during the summer holidays, according to Mencap.

Access to short break services, respite case and daily childcare was poor in many areas across the country, a survey carried out by the charity found.

Of 316 parents who responded, 56 per cent said they found it hard to get short breaks and respite help, while more than half said it was difficult to secure daily childcare during the school holidays.

Mencap has been monitoring issues around access to short breaks and respite care since 2003 and says too many parents and carers are still being pushed to breaking point, due to emotional, psychological and physical stress resulting from a lack of this kind of support.

Click here to read a BBC report on the survey findings and click here and here to read some parents’ stories of their own experiences, including a number whose children have autism.