I am about to buy my own business as a solution to my need for flexible work. The business is very seasonal and is at its peak in the summer so I need flexible care for my disabled son, cue amazing team of direct payments funded carers who are all keen to do more hours. So I have the job, the care but no funding! This morning I did the sums and to get through the summer the care costs are going to be about £5000, some of this I can cover with my existing DPs but they really only pay for washing and dressing and don’t address the hours between morning and evening. As the business is so seasonal I need to earn as much as possible in the summer to see me through the winter.
I have looked at funding for childcare and I might be able to access childcare vouchers which pay about 20% of the cost but it ends when a young person is 17, my son needs constant care and can only be used on registered home care staff which his team are not as they are directly employed by me as agency care with the constant changes to staffing doesn’t meet his needs. I also couldn’t access child tax credits funding for the same reason and I think he’s about to be too old for this anyway. I also live in a UC area so who knows if I would get moved on to that and again during the summer when I need the care the business income is going to be high but this won’t cover the winter.
I have spoken to my SS department and they nearly burst out laughing when I asked if they could help and told me that other parents have to pay for childcare (yes but not £13 an hour up til their 18 I even have to top up the DP rate as it’s too low to get the right staff to help him).
This is a total nightmare, a year long gap in public policy and funding to support disabled children and their parents to work.