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A fifth of working mothers would like to increase their hours, but 57% would like to work less, according to a Department of Education study.
A fifth of working mothers would like to increase their hours, but 57% would like to work less and 94% would like to spend more time with their children, according to a Department of Education study.
The Childcare and Early Years Survey of over 6,000 parents in England found 37% of working mums would prefer to stay at home looking after their children.
In over half of families both parents worked full time or one parent worked full time and the other worked more than 16 hours. Over half of mums worked atypical patterns and 33% said this caused childcare difficulties. Some 28% of mums who had started work in the last two years said this was due to them finding work that allowed them to combine work and family life. Childcare issues was the most likely reason for mums not working, followed by lack of flexible jobs.
Over half of parents used formal childcare and use had increased for parents in deprived areas with children aged three to four, who are eligible for 15 hours of free childcare a week, being particularly likely to receive childcare. Childcare use in wealthier areas had declined, although wealthier parents are more likely to use formal childcare. Just under half of parents of school-aged children used holiday childcare and 63% said this was easy to arrange. Some 39% of parents relied on informal childcare and a smaller amount used a combination of formal and informal care.
The average amount parents spent on childcare was £25 a week and the average time spent in childcare was 10 hours a week across all ages. Some 23% of parents accessed after school or breakfast clubs. Some 27% of parents found it difficult or very difficult to afford childcare, especially non-working single parents and nearly 40% rated affordability of childcare as very or fairly poor.
Of parents who had not used childcare in the last year 71% said it was because they preferred to look after their children themselves. Only 13% said it was due to childcare costs.
The report cites says some 64% of mums now work, with 29% working full time – a significant increase in recent years. Some 54% of non-working mums would prefer to go to work if there was quality, affordable childcare available.
The report, which covers 2012-13, also says that the use of formal childcare was highest in the south west; informal care was highest in the north east and children in London were the least likely to be in childcare.