48% of mums say wraparound childcare is affecting their career progression

A new poll by Koru Kids finds 48% of mums of primary aged children feel lack of wraparound childcare is stopping them from progressing.

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Almost half of mothers of primary school aged children feel their promotion prospects have been affected by a lack of before and after school childcare, with 45% saying that they are working below their experience and pay grade to fit around school hours, according to a new survey.

The survey of 2,000 mothers by Koru Kids found that one in 10 schools do not offer any before or after school care, but even in those that do significant numbers of parents complain that it is unaffordable or not sufficient for their needs [17%].

A quarter of mothers said they can’t afford to use wraparound care at all or as much as they would like to. On average women feel that they would need to earn an additional £3,729 per year to comfortably afford wraparound care, which is not feasible for many.

Some 56% of mothers said that the lack of care is affecting their mental health, 25% admit to feeling anxious and 22% feel completely fatigued. Fifteen per cent of mothers without wraparound care admitted to just not feeling themselves 10% revealed it is a cause of arguments with their partner, over finances and pick-ups.

On the other hand, the survey found that 93% of mothers who had good wraparound childcare said that it positively impacts their future career progression and 79% of mothers with wraparound care feel that they are working to their pay grade or above. Additionally, 91% of mothers with wraparound care feel that having this care has allowed them to focus on work and further their careers.

Rachel Carrell, Founder and CEO of flexible childcare provider Koru Kids, says: “The results from our survey are incredibly frustrating. The school day and working hours just simply don’t add up. Clearly, something has to give, and what’s giving way is mums’ careers and livelihoods. We surveyed mums because we know that it is unfortunately still mums who are taking on the lions’ share of childcare, a pattern which begins during maternity leave.”

She added: “People sometimes assume when their kids start school their childcare problems will be over, but for many parents, it actually gets worse. Parents, especially mums, are running themselves ragged trying to fit their jobs around school hours, unable to rely on the wraparound care that they need.”

She says that despite a 2019 Conservative manifesto promise to inject £1bn into childcare including wraparound care and holiday clubs, the money has never materialised.

Last month the Government’s In-Work Progression Commission identified a lack of flexible wraparound childcare as a barrier to pay and career progression, particularly for low paid workers, 62% of whom are women. It called on the Department of Education to expand the provision and affordability of wraparound care.

*Koru Kids has started a petition to Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, urging him to fulfil the government’s investment commitments in order to support parents who are struggling to make childcare work. They are asking members of the public to sign this letter, aiming for 10,000 signatures.

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