Crippling cost of childcare
Keeping up with childcare costs is a fast-growing burden on young families. So it’s hardly surprising that research shows working mothers are 18 per cent more stressed than other people, with this figure rising to 40 per cent for those with two children.
New research by Cuckooz Nest* highlights some of the childcare issues faced by young families and reveals that:
- 46 per cent of working adults view childcare costs as the main obstacle faced when going back to work.
- 50 per cent of fathers state finance as the main reason for not taking shared parental leave.
- 63 per cent of parents would return to work sooner if they could access flexible childcare.
- 85 per cent of parents believe large companies with over 250 employees should subsidise childcare costs.
- 91 per cent believe the government should provide tax relief on childcare costs from an earlier age.
Workplace flexibility is also a big obstacle, with 65 per cent of parents in the survey saying they would return sooner if they could access more flexible childcare arrangements. The issue of affordability and flexibility can also impact on career opportunities for parents, with 52 per cent only willing to commute for up to 30 minutes and 39 per cent for one hour.
Cuckooz Nest is calling on big businesses to do more to support mothers and fathers returning from parental leave. Charlie Rosier, co-Founder of Cuckooz Nest, comments: ’While parents want to secure the best option possible for their children, lack of flexibility and the high cost of doing so often means this just doesn’t happen.
‘We’ve seen the positive difference on-site childcare can have first-hand at Cuckooz Nest when helping new mums and dads to return to work. More has to be done to breach this financial barrier to provide flexible, affordable childcare for everyone. Of course, there are changes the government can make but we really want to see Britain’s big businesses get behind this initiative, whether it’s to provide an on-site nursery or to subsidise the cost for its employees.’
*Survey conducted by Survey Monkey for Cuckooz Nest, London’s first fully flexible co-working space, with an Ofsted registered creche for children under two.