Childcare costs cause a third of parents to consider quitting job

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Ever increasing childcare costs are threatening the workplace inclusion of new parents, a study suggests.

Published by Daycare Trust and Mumsnet, the report reveals that over a third (38 per cent) of parents have considered quitting their job because of childcare costs and more than one in ten (12 per cent) have actually done so.

In addition, a fifth (20 per cent) have turned down a job because they would not be able to afford paying for childcare were they to take it.

The cost of childcare in the UK is one of the highest anywhere in Europe and this was reflected in the results of the survey, with 37 per cent of working parents saying they pay the same or more for their childcare than they do for their rent or mortgage.

This has led to many struggling to keep on top of costs, with 14 per cent having to borrow from friends, family or on credit cards to pay for childcare fees and 17 per cent unable to pay for childcare costs on time.

“This survey clearly sets out just how big a barrier childcare costs are for parents looking to stay in or enter the labour market,” said Anand Shukla, chief executive of Daycare Trust.

“Affordable, high quality childcare is good for child development, enables families to be financially self-sufficient, and ensures businesses have access to the widest possible pool of talent.”

Parents want to see both the government and employers do more to assist with the cost of childcare, with 77 per cent saying the state does not currently offer enough support and almost half (47 per cent) agreeing that employers should contribute more to childcare costs.

However, only five per cent of parents supported a reduction in the number of childcare staff, as currently under consideration by the government’s Childcare Commission, even if it meant that costs were reduced for parents.

“This survey clearly shows that while parents want affordable childcare they are not prepared for quality to be compromised,” said Mr Shukla.

“The government’s new Childcare Commission should pay heed when considering how to ease the burden of childcare costs for parents.”

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