PARENTS fear the school holidays will cost them almost £200 more this year as prices for childcare and family activities soar.
Nearly six in 10 families are rethinking their vacation plans as they struggle with childcare costs while juggling work and children.
According to a new survey of 1,000 parents, about 64% are worried about how to offset the increased costs of keeping their child out of school in the coming weeks.
And 71 percent are preparing to buy more snacks than usual because of day trips and activities to feed the kids along the way.
Bakery company Warburtons and supermarket chain Morrisons commissioned the research to launch Ask for Ellen – a program offering free toasted flatbreads to all in Morrisons cafes this summer.
The study found that 58% of parents are reconsidering their summer holiday plans due to the increasing cost of an extra £200 over the course of the six week school holiday.
Parents expect to visit the grocery store at least once a week more than usual to ensure their kids’ snack cupboards are stocked during recess.
Grandparents are also in for a busy summer, with 44% expecting them to take the pressure off them.
It also found that 38% find entertaining their children to be the most difficult part of summer vacation, while 37% worry about balancing work and family time.
And 26% expect kids to say they’re bored “often” in the next six weeks.
The Ask for Ellen program is named after the founder of the bakery brand, Ellen Warburton.
It will be available all day from next Monday until August 13 in each of the supermarket company’s 398 UK cafes, while stocks last.
Adults and children can “Ask for Ellen” to get a free serving of two flatbreads with butter and jam—no questions asked.
Bradford-based Morrisons’ Chris Strong said: “Caring for our customers during the school holidays is incredibly important to us as we know many families are concerned about the provision of extra meals which are normally covered during school hours.”
Jonathan Warburton, Chairman of Warburtons, said: “While the summer holidays offer families an opportunity to enjoy time together, we know the reality can be very different for many families.”
“As the cost of living crisis continues to put pressure on household budgets, we wanted to offer families a little support over the holiday season.
“The ability to serve families across the country is as important to us today as it was to Ellen Warburtons in 1876.”
Earlier this week, Morrisons began stocking items from its Budget Savers range, including toilet paper, washing-up liquid, sausages and skim milk, in its 500 convenience stores.
Meanwhile, the Bolton-based Warburtons have signed another Hollywood star for their TV commercials, following Robert De Niro and George Clooney – pulp fiction star Samuel L Jackson.
In addition, families were offered cheaper access to theme parks and attractions this summer via the British restaurant Hungry Horse.
And a charity has shared tips on how to deal with rising childcare costs while on holiday.
Still, holidaymakers traveling abroad have been told to expect chaos at airports and in the air with EasyJet airline cancel 1,700 flights between July and September – up to 180,000 customers affected.
There have also been warnings that Spanish public holidays will prove particularly expensive this year as both costs and demand rise.
More than half of Britons are reportedly planning to avoid international travel this year and instead take “staycations” to save money.