Skip to main content

Finding reliable childcare can be challenging for many parents, but it is particularly difficult for shift workers in the UK. With irregular hours and often unpredictable schedules, shift workers face unique hurdles in securing quality childcare that fits their needs. However, recent initiatives and resources are beginning to address this critical issue, providing hope and practical solutions for families.

Government Initiatives and Support

In a significant move to alleviate the childcare crisis, the Department for Education has launched a national campaign to expand childcare services across the UK. This initiative includes:

  • Massive Expansion of Free Childcare: The government has committed to the largest-ever expansion of free childcare. Already, over 102,480 children have been registered, highlighting the demand. The first phase of this expansion starts in April, aiming to provide more accessible childcare for families.
  • Financial Relief: Parents utilizing the full 30-hour entitlements can save up to £6,500 a year, significantly easing the financial burden of childcare.
  • “Do Something Big” Recruitment Campaign: This campaign is focused on attracting new talent to the childcare sector, offering flexible hours, on-the-job training, and even a £1,000 cash sign-on bonus for new early years workers. This effort aims to increase childcare capacity and provide more options for parents with irregular schedules​​​​.

At ivee, we ensure our community stays informed about the latest regulatory changes.

Flexible and Inclusive Childcare Solutions

For shift workers, finding childcare that accommodates non-standard hours is crucial. Several innovative solutions are emerging to meet this need:

  1. 24-Hour Nurseries: Some nurseries and childcare providers are starting to offer 24-hour services. These facilities are designed to cater to parents working night shifts or other non-traditional hours. They provide safe and structured environments where children can thrive, regardless of their parents’ work schedules.
  2. On-Demand Childcare Services: Apps and platforms like Bubble and Koru Kids are providing on-demand babysitting services, allowing parents to book childcare as needed. These services offer flexibility for shift workers who might need care at short notice or at unusual times.
  3. Workplace Childcare Programs: Some employers are recognizing the importance of providing childcare support to their employees. Workplace childcare programs, whether on-site nurseries or partnerships with local childcare providers, can significantly reduce the stress and logistical challenges for working parents.

The Role of Technology in Supporting Parents

Tech platforms like ivee are revolutionising the return-to-work journey for parents, particularly mothers who have taken career breaks. ivee’s platform helps women re-enter the workforce without compromising on salary or position, addressing the broader challenges of the motherhood penalty and gender pay gap. ivee offers:

  • Skills-Matching Marketplace: Leveraging behavioral economics to match candidates with suitable job opportunities, ensuring that their skills and experiences are valued.
  • Personalized Upskilling: Providing tailored content and micro-learning opportunities to update industry knowledge and boost confidence. Download our free hybrid CV template.
  • Community and Mentoring: Creating a supportive network where women can share experiences, seek advice, and find mentorship​​​​.

The Importance of Advocacy and Policy Change

While these solutions are promising, ongoing advocacy and policy changes are essential to ensure sustainable support for shift workers. Continued investment in childcare infrastructure, increased funding for flexible childcare options, and employer incentives to support working parents can drive significant progress.

At ivee, we are committed to supporting women in their return-to-work journey, ensuring they can re-enter the workforce at their true value without compromising on pay or position. Our mission is to empower women and create a more inclusive and supportive work environment for all.

For more information on childcare solutions and support for shift workers, visit our website and join our community dedicated to making work, work for everyone.

Are you returning to work?

🔎 Searching for career opportunities? Apply for jobs with vetted companies that support work and life integration. Sign up or log in

Are you a company looking to access this untapped talent?

💻 Looking to hire? Post open roles and find skilled, diverse talent. Get started or log in.