Flying with Children

If you are flying to a sunny destination with small children this summer you may not be looking forward to the flight there – or the return flight home. This guide from Sainsburys might just help to make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone!

Free Creche at Hampshire Wedding Fair

Sunday 10th April, 11am – 3.30 pm
at The New Forest Showground

Hampshire Wedding Festival

Freedom Childcare will be providing a free creche at the The Hampshire Wedding Fair at The New Forest Showground. With over 40 exhibitors the Wedding Fair is a great place to go to plan your wedding . . . and enjoy a festival atmosphere with live music and the finest outdoor catering.

Wedding Fair shoesCome and see everything you could need for your wedding – and take advantage of our Free creche!

See the website and the Festival Facebook page for more information.


To secure your free childcare slot with Freedom Childcare  email

Booking in advance is recommended

Tenacity and Parenting

Tenacity is the Most Important Attribute Required for Being a Successful Parent

Along with all the other hats we have to wear in our day to day lives parenting our children is singularly the most difficult. Partly this is because it is a dynamic process, just when we think we have cracked it our children move on and we are learning again how to manage them and guide them.

Tenacity in ParentingSome days are harder than others dependending on stress levels, health and demands on our time, and when our parenting resolve is low is when it often matters most! Children are in tune with their parents and can sense when we are not firing on all cylinders this is when their behaviour will be affected and when they (annoyingly) will become more persistent or resistant. The other factor which adds to the mystery of parenting is that we don’t see the fruits of our labour straight away.

For example when repeatedly asking your teenager to tidy their room it is easy to feel that you are not getting through to them and therefore shut the door and forget the problem. The work we do in educating our children on behaviour and acceptable standards isn’t about us reaping the benefits now. In fact the whole parent child relationship is based on them not listening and us repeating ourselves until we are hoarse.

The secret is only released when as adults they can hear their parent’s voice guiding them and it molds the grown up they become and in turn will shape them as parents and so it continues.

If it helps imagine your child bringing up your grandchild and because you didn’t repeat yourself enough they don’t have you on their shoulder guiding them. In a way you are investing in the future generations not just your own child. (I find having a broader view point helps take the intensity and frustration away) – see the bigger picture. It’s not about getting a tidy room it’s about the future of the human race !!!!!

So my point is yes it’s hard, don’t expect miracles, keep your boundaries strong and one day you will reap the benefits of all you hard work. Right now you are shaping a human being and their job is to challenge you throughout this process.

This sums it up! –

Fostering Households Needed in Southampton

Could you give a child a brighter future?

Fostering households needed in Southampton

Southampton City Council are in need of fostering households in and around Southampton.

Foster carers offer a stable and nurturing environment for young people who are unable to live with their birth families. This can be for a number of reasons and care maybe required for just a single night through to years at a time, often helping a young person work through difficult times in their lives.

There’s a constant need to recruit Foster carers and we’re always looking for as many new ways as possible to get people from the local community involved.

If you think you could provide a loving home to a child or young person contact Southampton City Council on 0800 519 1818 or visit

Special Needs Information Day

Saturday 17 October 2015 – 10am to 3pm
Horndean Technology College, Waterlooville, PO8 9PQ

Special Needs Information Day 2015A free event for young people, parents and carers of children with special needs, and those involved in supporting them.

Free bookable workshops and talks will be held throughout the day. Topics include:

  • supporting young people with speech and language difficulties
  • Dyspraxia
  • the Hampshire Local Offer
  • advice for young people on post 16 options
  • changes from DLA to PIP
  • wills and trusts
  • challenging behaviour
  • person centred planning

Freedom will be attending to discuss our services with parents as well as running a crèche.

Support4SEND provides free impartial information, advice and support to parent carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and to children and young people with SEND throughout Hampshire.

Parent Voice is an Information and Advice Service for parents and carers of disabled children aged 0-19 in Hampshire. We provide a single point of contact for the information and advice you need for your child.

Choosing a Nanny

At one time a nanny used to conjure up an image of formal lady in a white starched blouse with a very intimidating presence who might completely take over from a mother in rearing the children.

Fortunately these days nannies have a much more relaxed and flexible attitude to their duties. They are experts in their field, often with a wide range of knowledge, but these days are very much guided by the parent.

Family Requirements


When asked the question “How would you create a routine within a new family?” Ninety-nine percent of the answers from well trained nannies started with; “I would have a conversation with the parents to find out what the routine already is”.

All families have specific requirements regarding discipline, health, lifestyle and diet and part of a nanny’s job is to fit in with the family unit.

Nanny Advantages

The benefits of using a nanny as your main childcare provision are:

  • Flexibility of working hours.
  • Adaptability to unusual working patterns including overnight.
  • Parent lead prescriptive care.
  • Building close personal relationships between nanny, parents and children.
  • Cost effective – especially for multiple children.
  • Transportation – nanny comes to you, school runs.
  • Children are cared for in their own surroundings.
  • Help with child related domestic chores to allow Parents more quality time with the children as other chores can be worked into nanny’s routine – ie packed lunches, food preparation, etc.
  • Support with organising daily activities, clubs, etc.
  • Short term help for new parent / new babies to help with routines and sleep!
  • Ability for parents to attend weekend events and work commitments.

In the next article I’ll look at the various types of nanny from the Mother’s Help to the full time Nanny.

Freedom Childcare is National Award Finalist

mumandworking 2015 Awards

Mum and Working awardsThe judges have spoken! Celebrated, expert business-mums including Jacqueline Gold, Chief Executive of Ann Summers and Knickerbox have revealed their finalists in the prestigious mumandworking 2015 Awards as supported by – and Freedom Childcare is amongst them!

This exciting awards programme celebrates the champions of flexible working – showcasing those businesses, associations and individuals (mums and dads!) who are demonstrating how a fulfilling career can be balanced with modern-day family life – enjoying and managing parenting and working – together.

The awards will be held at RBS, 280 Bishopsgate – in the business hub in the City of London – on September 22 2015 and are judged both by public vote and by an impressive panel of judges – leading business women and mums who understand all too well the challenges and the rewards of juggling work and being there for your family. For more on our famous judges see –

VIP speakers also include Annabel Karmel MBE and Caprice Bourret.

Freedom Childcare is a mumandworking 2015 finalist in the Flexible Business of the Year category which means they are now invited to attend the glittering awards ceremony and celebratory networking reception with The Mumpreneurs Networking Club and over 150 other finalists, special guests, bloggers, press, VIP judges and speakers and representatives from NatWest, and This year, the awards received nearly double the nominations of previous years and the standard of entries has been very high so this is a great achievement.

Finalists have been announced online at Voting is still open however in the 3 remaining categories – Working Parent Blogger of the Year, High-Profile Working Parent of the Year and Franchisor of the Year – for more on voting visit All winners and those who are highly-commended will be announced LIVE on the 22 September, results will be revealed also on social media (#mumworkawards) and via

Nick Howe, Regional Enterprise Manager, NatWest commented

‘At NatWest we are committed to supporting the UK’s female entrepreneurs. Across the RBS group, we have a team of 200 Women in Business specialists throughout the UK, who understand the market in your area. Whether you run a business today, or are planning a new business, they understand the challenges and can help you find solutions. NatWest are delighted to be supporting the 2015 mumandworking awards and look forward to hosting the VIP awards ceremony and meeting all the finalists and winners!’

Event Director, Suzanne Borrell added

‘All those through to this final stage should be very proud. Each year these awards go from strength to strength, the calibre of the candidates has so impressed organisers and the judges alike and we are really looking forward to a highly empowering and deeply inspiring event – with a few tears no doubt! Thank you so much to, and to NatWest – we can’t run these awards without our supporters and we are so grateful that they and all our sponsors recognise the importance of ‘family-friendly’ working – for the benefit of all – and how these amazing finalists should be celebrated!’

Freedom Childcare Shortlisted for National Award

National ‘Family-Friendly Working’ Awards Hosted By Natwest

Mum and Working Awards

The shortlisted candidates for the prestigious mumandworking 2015 Awards as supported by have just been announced – and Freedom Childcare is amongst them! is one of the UK’s leading flexible working websites offering a wealth of employment opportunities, advice and information.

This exciting awards programme celebrates the champions of flexible working – showcasing those businesses, associations and individuals (mums and dads!) demonstrating how a fulfilling career can be balanced with modern-day family life – enjoying parenting and working together.

The awards will be held at RBS, 280 Bishopsgate on September 22 2015 and are judged both by public vote and by an impressive panel of judges – leading business women and mums who understand all too well the challenges and the rewards of juggling work and being there for your family. VIP speakers and judges also include Annabel Karmel MBE, Jacqueline Gold and Caprice Bourret.

Freedom Childcare has been shortlisted amid fierce competition in the Flexible Business of the Year category which means they will now go through to the next judging stage!

This year, the awards received nearly double the nominations of previous years and the standard of entries has been very high so this is a great achievement.

Finalists will be announced online at by August 20th and these exceptional candidates will then be invited to attend the live awards as hosted by NatWest followed by a sparkling celebratory reception with The Mumpreneurs Networking Club.

Award’s Event Director, Suzanne Borrell:

‘All those through to the shortlist should be very proud, the entries this year were of exceptionally high standard and I don’t envy our fabulous judging panel in their task ahead. The importance and benefits to all of flexible, family-friendly working opportunities are now being recognised at the highest levels and we are really excited to be live in the business heart of the City on September 22 to announce our winners. Thank you to NatWest for all their support’

Log on to for details on all the awards, the categories, the judging panel, VIP guests and those shortlisted.

The winners will be announced live on September 22, online and via the mumandworking/ What’s On 4 social media.

Power Socket Covers – should we use them?

Are socket covers dangerous

There is no government regulation for power socket covers and sometimes safe sockets are made unsafe by using inadequately designed socket covers.

Power Sockets

However, British power sockets ARE fully regulated by the government to BS 1363 standard and have specifically designed with holes that are too small for even a new-born baby to put a finger in. They also include internal shutters to prevent children from poking objects into them (you would have to reach 1cm into the socket before contacting a live part).

Shutters in a standard British socket are only opened when the earth pin is inserted into the top pin hole of the socket. This existing method of earth pin operation is perfectly safe provided children are not given access to tools which are the same shape as an earth pin. Unfortunately socket covers can be such a tool and it has been reported that small children can remove the covers without difficulty or snap off parts of the cover so that the top pin remains in place.

Robust Safety

At Freedom Childcare, we pride ourselves on our robust safety procedures and in the past we have always used socket covers. Taking all the information above into consideration, we have now made the decision to stop using Socket Covers as it appears they are likely to make the sockets unsafe for the children.

To find out more see

Save up to £933 a Year on your Childcare Costs!

The soaring cost of childcare is never far from the headlines and more and more we’re hearing how difficult it can be to find cost effective ways of handling your childcare needs.

In a recent study, Family Investments found that, on average, mums working full-time spend four months’ worth of their salary on childcare costs – Childcarescheme can not only help you manage these costs, but also offers considerable savings too.

Childcarescheme allows you to sacrifice a portion of your salary (tax free) to pay for your childcare costs. Savings of up to 42% (on the amount you sacrifice) mean you could be up to £933 better off per parent/guardian per year; that’s £1,866 per couple per year.

You can use a carer of your choice, or nominate to use one of the carers registered and approved by Childcarescheme; managing payments for childcare is easy too by using Childcarescheme’s unique and secure online account.

Your employer will save money when offering Childcarescheme too by reducing the amount of Employer’s National Insurance Contributions they pay – this can be up to £402 per employee per year.

So, why not log on to and use our calculator to find out how much you could save?