Single parents are struggling to accommodate extra costs for their children during half term, new research has revealed.

Up and down the country children in school are looking forward to half term. However, new research has looked into how much parents end up spending during the week, and this has shed light on how single parents struggle to accommodate the extra costs involved.  

The research for  consumer credit reporting agency, Equifax found that a fifth of single parents have called in sick in order to look after their children during the school holidays. They are also much more likely to have had to take holiday from work (56% v 46%) or taken unpaid leave (35% v 18%) than those in dual-income households.  

Single parents also feel more pressure to spend money during half term to keep their children entertained – according to the report. Unsurprisingly, 4 in 5 single parents therefore think they need more support when it comes to funding.  

The financial pressure that single parents face during half term is also apparent during the Christmas and holiday season. 42% of the single parents surveyed admit that they have regularly fallen behind, or even completely missed, credit card payments and bills after Christmas, and a third even admitting to falling behind on rent after Christmas spending. The research has also found that shockingly, most parents expect to spend an average of £178.29 on their children this half term – only £70 less than the average Christmas spend.  

And it’s not just the parents making sacrifices. Over 4 in 5 (82%) single parents say children miss out on social activities as well because they are too expensive. 4 in 5 parents overall have agreed that school holidays are getting more and more expensive every year, with over three quarters (76%) agreeing there are less free options during the school holidays compared to 5 years ago.

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