As recent figures show that childcare costs have risen by 19% in the last 12 months, Monica Costa of London Mums Magazine shares her findings with Feeling Fab.
Are we surprised about the rising cost of childcare year on year? I often give interviews to media about this topic, which is the single most important issue for families in Britain. I say that mothers (or dads in turns) often decide to stay at home as they cannot afford childcare costs. As a comparison, our European counterparts only pay between £250 to £500 per month for full-time childcare compared to £1500 in London.
Here is an interesting report by childcare search site Findababysitter.com that has recently launched its second Annual Childcare Report, which addresses a wide range of childcare issues affecting parents in the UK.
The study has revealed the average cost of childcare throughout the UK has risen by 19 percent in the last year, stopping 25 percent of the UK’s unemployed parents going to work.
The report reveals the true impact that the coalition government is having on UK families, including the biggest barriers to childcare, struggles with returning to work, availability, and cost.
Below are key findings from each section of the research.
Is the government doing enough?
Over half (51%) of all parents in the UK think the government is not doing enough to support them when it comes to childcare (compared to 55% last year)
This figure rises for stay at home parents – 60% said the government isn’t doing enough.
Affording to work
Almost 1 in 4 unemployed parents in the UK (24%) would prefer to work, but say they can’t because of high childcare costs.
38% of parents aged 18-24 would prefer to work, but say they can’t afford the high childcare costs.
The more children an unemployed parent has, the more childcare costs act as a barrier to seeking employment (35% for 3-4 children / 23% for 2 children).
The top 5 cities where unemployed parents are struggling to afford childcare costs the most are:
Digital technology & child development
85% of parents in the UK say they encourage their children to embrace digital technology, with 74% saying they’re sure that it enhances their child’s development in the early years.
Childcare professionals are more cautious when it comes to allowing the children they care for to use digital technology – only 61%, compared to 85% of parents.
Barriers to childcare
Parents ranked their childcare concerns from 1 to 5:
1. Cost (1.9 out of 5)
2. Safety (2.7 out of 5)
3. Location (3.1 out of 5)
4. Availability (3.4 out of 5)
5. Conscience (3.9 out of 5)
The majority of parents in the UK considered cost as a bigger concern than safety when asked to rank barriers to childcare (Cost ranked at 1.9 out of five and safety ranked three out of five).
Conscience is the last concern on UK parents’ minds – ranking it last, at 3.9 out of five.
Safety is more of a concern for parents raising their children in the following cities, rating it as the number one barrier to childcare:
Availability of childcare in the UK
The childcare options that are most popular in the UK are:
Nanny – 34%
Babysitter – 21%
Ofsted childminder – 19%
Other – 26%
Cost of childcare
The cost of hiring a childcare professional has increased by 19% on average across the UK in the last 12 months, since January 2013.
Nanny £6.59 to £8.75 = 25%
After-school Nanny £9.05 to £10.00 = 11%
Babysitter £8.77 to £9.50 = 8%
Part-time Nanny £8.46 to £10.00 = 15%
Mother’s Help £7.78 to £10.00 = 22%
Housekeeper £7.55 to £11.25 = 33%
The data is from a national omnibus survey of 1000 UK-based parents with at least one child aged 10 or younger carried out between the 4 to 8th November 2013.