A fifth of parents quit work due to childcare costs
By Rachel Lawler
Almost a fifth of parents say they have been forced to give up their jobs due to the cost of childcare, according to a study from campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed.
The campaigners says that 62% of parents have been forced to take fewer working hours due to the costs and say that it is predominantly women that bear the cost of childcare. The group also said that around 20% of parents want to work but are unable to because of the cost of childcare.
The group spoke to 1,800 parents about the cost of childcare, with most saying that the cost is a source of financial anxiety in their family.
Joeli Brearley, founder at Pregnant Then Screwed, said: “We need the government to create a childcare system that works so that nurseries can stay open and provide good quality care and so that we can close the gender pay gap and start to tackle the motherhood penalty.”
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said: "We fully recognise the impact high childcare costs continue to have on many families across the country.
"Years of inadequate government funding have left thousands of nurseries, pre-schools and childminders struggling to keep their heads above water, and many have been forced to charge parents higher fees to try to bridge an ever-increasing funding gap. This has had a particular impact on those parents of younger children who aren’t eligible for any government-funded schemes.
"That said, while we agree that the government must do more to support families in the post-parental leave period, any policy to subsidise childcare places for children from the age of nine months that doesn’t firstly address the severe underfunding issues already facing providers, and secondly, ensure that such subsidiation is fully and properly costed, would push the sector to the brink of collapse.
"If government truly wants to support families with the cost of childcare, it simply must invest what is needed into the sector. Anything less will simply exacerbate the existing problems."