It's 8.15am, already the sun is pouring into the car and you are stuck in a traffic jam with two children under six squabbling in the back.

One question is dominating your mind: how are you going to get Phoebe to the playgroup, six-year-old Thomas to school and yourself to work by 9am?

That wouldn't be too bad, if your day was not to be dominated by the same question in reverse.

In an ideal world, of course, employers would recognise the particular problems facing working parents and accept that everyone child, working parent and employer benefits from a degree of flexibility.

That normally takes the form of part-time work for returning mothers: flexitime, term-time working and so on.

And, indeed, slowly but surely, attitudes are changing.

But that is not enough. To avoid arriving at work like a limp rag, working parents need wrap-around care.

At one time, according to folklore, legions of willing aunties and grannies would fill the gaps but that is a luxury few parents now have. Hence, wrap-around care.

All the constituent parts are there: Nurseries, providing childcare for children up to five years old and, in some cases, government-funded early-education places for four-year-olds (and some three-year-olds), which you can top up with further childcare at the commercial rate.

Playgroups, offering play activities and early education for the preschoolers children from three to four years old.

Breakfast clubs for schoolchildren, usually on school premises, where children can play under supervision until school starts.

After-school clubs, run by childcare workers on school premises, in church halls or community centres for at least several days a week.

After-school homework clubs, computer clubs and so on, usually run by teachers a day or so a week on school premises.

Holiday playschemes, offering supervised play during the school holidays.

But (and it's a big but) as these are usually run by a range of different organisations, they never quite link up or they never used to, for things are now changing.

For example, it's worth finding out from Kites if there is an Early Excellence Centre near you, as these have extra government funding to provide wrap-around care and a range of other resources for families.

That aside, now that more money is being ploughed into childcare each year, nurseries, playgroups and after-school clubs are starting to expand or link up to provide broader services.

For example, some nurseries now run their own after-school clubs and collect children after school.

And increasingly, after-school clubs are extending their hours to fit in with the parents working day or introducing holiday care.

If that isn't happening near you, then ring Kites to check what is available you might be pleasantly surprised.

Tell your child's school, club or nursery what you want and enlist the support of other parents.

Also, contact Kites for a registered childminder who can take your children to school or nursery, collect them at the end of the day and then look after them at home.