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A major survey of over 20,000 working parents, ran by a coalition of organisations including Pregnant Then Screwed, Mumnset and the Fawcett Society, found that 97% of those surveyed said childcare was too expensive.
The survey confirms what we regularly hear from the parents of children supported by Little Village baby banks: those struggling the most due to childcare costs are workers on the lowest incomes, on universal credit, single parents, disabled, or black. The childcare crisis increases both inequality and in-work poverty.
The Department of Education has responded to the survey findings by referencing parents’ ability to claim 30 “free” hours a week. However, recent research by The Sutton Trust has revealed that 70% of families eligible for 30 free hours childcare for under 5s were high earners.
Inadequate childcare funding plunges families into poverty, forces mothers out of the workforce, and limits access to early years education. Children from low income households are the most underserved. The childcare system needs to be rebuilt.