Guardian shared a damning report on UK Childcare affordability this morning citing a survey of 20,000 parents, 97% of whom indicated it was “too expensive”. With the UK falling within the top 3 most expensive countries when it comes to childcare, CEO of The Women’s Organisation Maggie O’Carroll released this statement calling on the government to take “urgent action”
“If 97% of working parents are telling us that childcare is expensive, we need to recognise this as an issue that requires urgent action or we run the risk of stalling our post-covid economic recovery. Childcare remains disproportionately a barrier for women when it comes to entering employment, seeking promotion or indeed establishing and growing their own enterprise. By not addressing the unsustainable cost of such services we are actively promoting inequality in enterprise and employment and backing many women into a corner of having to opt out of either.
The Rose Review commissioned by government in 2019 showed that if we invest more in women’s enterprise we could add £250bn more to the economy through helping them to start, scale and grow businesses. But we need to acknowledge that to make that economic impact a reality, a fully costed solution to the childcare crisis is required. When the cost of childcare is more than your rent or mortgage there is something severely off balance. We urge the government to intervene and let us know their plan for addressing the childcare crisis or risk seeing women ghosted out of the economy through no fault of their own.”
Guardian UK today cited:
“Tens of thousands of working parents say the government is failing them with inadequate childcare policies that leave them financially crippled, stymied in their careers and desperate for radical change. A survey of more than 20,000 working parents has found that 96% believed ministers were not doing enough to support parents with the cost and availability of childcare while 97% said childcare in the UK was too expensive. One-third of parents said they paid more for childcare than their rent or mortgage. This proportion rose to 38% for both those in full-time work or single parents, and to 47% of respondents from a black ethnic background. Only Switzerland and Slovakia has more expensive childcare, according to OECD figures. Some parents, like Hertfordshire teacher Sophie Cole, have quit their jobs to look after their children because care is so expensive.”