1 June 2018
Sitting on the edge of the lake here at Castell Cidwm, it’s like being in another world. There’s not a concrete tower block in sight, no traffic noise and no mobile phone signal. Heaven!
A few days ago we came over to our Welsh Lake House to spend a few days in the mountains away from the hustle and bustle, and to make the most of half-term with the kids. With a few of the UKFast team added into the mix, it’s been a memory-making trip. My daughters never fail to amaze me with their energy, whether that’s bounding through field after field, climbing mountains or swimming. They’re unstoppable!
Half-term is always a funny time, isn’t it? Whilst we want to make the most of extra time with the children, balancing this with work commitments is no mean feat. Invariably we lean on family members or have to pay for childcare.
Last summer, research by Family and Childcare Trust showed that the cost of holiday childcare rose 4% from the year before to an average of £125 per week. A separate survey estimated the cost of summer childcare are set to hit £3.44bn.
It is astonishing how expensive childcare is, and is becoming. Gail and I are fortunate enough to be surrounded by a supportive family who live nearby which, of course, makes our lives easier. Chatting with some of the UKFast parents, one told me that average childcare, outside of holiday time, costs more than their mortgage! When did we get to this point? It’s absurd.
Thinking beyond traditional childcare
A few years ago we started to hold Code Clubs, sessions where kids can come in to learn a bit about coding and tinker with tech. Now, they’re accredited Star Code Clubs, run by our team of apprentices. We hold them every school holiday so that parents can bring in their little ones for an afternoon. They leave them in the computer labs where they’re taught coding. They get a bite to eat and drink, and have a great time. We’re now oversubscribed and have cousins, friends and extended relatives coming too!
It’s an afternoon where parents don’t have to worry about where their kids are. More often than not, the little ones spend the whole day at the office in our crèche playzone.
Business isn’t about making a profit, it’s about making a difference. A huge part of that is the difference we can make to our teams’ lives. A full-time job doesn’t have to mean sacrificing family time.
Kids don’t stay kids for long. Whilst we have this flexibility at UKFast to help the team to manage the challenges of school holidays, it’s also to help them make the most of this precious time. Before you know it they’re adults. Trust me, you don’t want to waste a moment.