Fifth of parents will reduce hours or may give up work due to childcare costs

One in five of all parents with childcare costs will reduce the hours they work or will consider giving up work altogether in 2015, according to a survey commissioned by 4Children.

Nursery worker playing with children


The survey of 1,000 parents of children aged between 0-16 found that of those parents paying for childcare, almost a fifth (18%) are considering reducing their hours at work or giving up their job altogether because of the financial strain.

While more than a quarter (28%) of the same parents will be cutting back on treats in order to meet high childcare costs, 16% admit they will have to cut back on essentials over the next 12 months.

Almost three quarters (73%) of parents are calling on political parties to offer them more help with the cost of childcare and 62% believe it should be an election priority.

4Children Chief Executive Anne Longfield OBE said: “Childcare represents a huge financial challenge for most parents and our poll shows the real impact costs are having on family life – from giving up work to cutting back on essentials. Removing parents’ choice as to whether or not they continue to work after having children is not the answer for families or for the economy.

“Parents of the youngest children are feeling the pressures most acutely and are calling on politicians to do more to help, particularly with the cost of childcare.

“The family vote will be key at the ballot box in May and 4Children is throwing down the gauntlet to politicians to set out how they will ensure childcare meets the needs of modern family life.”

4Children is running a national childcare hubs pilot scheme to help parents put together a tailored package of childcare by coordinating all the different types of childcare available in the local area.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said: “It is concerning to see the impact that high childcare costs continue to have on the lives of many families. We firmly believe that all parents should be able to access childcare that is both affordable and high-quality – however, the hard truth is that unless the government starts investing what is needed into the sector, the challenges currently facing parents are likely to continue.”

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