Survey highlights pressures on mums with two children under five

Some 43% of parents with two children under five say new Government childcare policies have not helped them, according to annual survey.



The survey, sponsored by McDonald’s, questioned over 2,400 parents. Looking only at those parents who had two children aged under five, the survey shows the 43% didn’t find the 30 hours extended childcare for three and four year olds and tax-free childcare helpful, even though they knew about them.

Some 19% said they spent more than £1K a month on childcare.

Comparing the general results for all parents with those with two children under five, the survey showed some interesting differences:

  • women of younger children were significantly more likely to earn more than their partner – 30% earned more than their partner compared to 22.5% of mums generally
  • despite this women of younger children were more likely to say they tended to do more of the childcare and housework than their partner [65% said they did more childcare compared to 57% of all mums; and 59% said they tended to do more housework compared to 51% of all mums]. This may be because many were on maternity leave and 54% had returned to work on a part-time basis.
  • 68% said their partner did not work flexibly compared to 59% of all mums.

The comparison showed mums of younger children were more likely to feel that their flexible working had had a negative impact on their career progression:

  • 57% said flexible working have affected their career progression as against 49% of all mums and 57% said working part time meant they had missed out of opportunities to progress their careers, such as training [compared to 54% of all mums]
  • 32% felt they faced discrimination as a result of working flexibly, compared to 27% of all mums, and 46% felt flexible working was not viewed positively by colleagues, compared to 42% of all mums.
  • 70% felt they had to work harder due to unconscious bias [as against 65% of all mums]
  • 56% feel they have enough flexibility in their current job, as against 60% of all mums
  • 36% earn less pro rata than before they had children, compared to 39% generally.

Interestingly, mums of younger children were less interested in retraining [63% compared to 67%] and in starting their own business [58% compared to 62%].

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