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Parents do not think the government is doing enough to make childcare affordable

By Rachel Lawlerparents and baby

A survey of parents of children under 14, undertaken by MoneySupermarket, has found that seven out of 10 do not think the government is doing enough to make childcare more affordable, while more than two thirds (69%) say they rely on family and friends as an alternative to paid childcare.

Counting the cost
Almost half of those surveyed (45%) said that they had been deterred from having another child due to childcare costs, with parents spending an average of £7,207 a year on childcare. Two in every 10 parents said they were using their savings to pay for childcare (18%) and almost one in every 10 was using a credit card to pay for childcare.

Family cutbacks
The survey also revealed how the cost of childcare is impacting families. Almost a third (31%) of parents asked said they have switched supermarkets to a cheaper alternative to make their money stretch further. Close to half (45%) saif that they had also cut back on social activities, while one in two parents (45%) said that childcare costs have deterred them from having another child.  

Unsustainable model
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, commented: "The current childcare model in this country is totally unsustainable for both parents and businesses and as such, these survey findings come as no surprise.

"Parents regularly have to pay out large sums of money and rely on friends and family to fill the gap between what is provided and what they need to work and live, while those working in early education settings or delivering school-age wraparound services often struggle to remain financially sustainable without pricing parents out of the quality care they rely on.

"Parents are right to expect more, and it's up to the government to deliver it: that’s one reason why we are calling on ministers to carry out a wholesale review of the childcare and early education system - to ensure it is sustainable in the long term for both providers and the families who rely on it."