77% Of Parents Say Cost Has Prevented Them Accessing The Childcare They Need

A Parliamentary Petitions Committee has heard evidence about childcare in the UK. What do you think needs to change?


by Rhiannon Evans |
Updated on

More statistics backing Grazia, The Juggle and Pregnant Then Screwed's call for the government to review childcare in the UK have been revealed as part of a petitions committee session.

A survey by the Petitions Committee found 77% of parents 'strongly agree' or 'agree' with the statement that 'The cost of childcare has prevented me from getting the kind of childcare I need'.

72% also said they expected the pandemic to have a 'major' or 'moderate' effect on their setting's long-term financial sustainability.

62% said they ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ that ‘A shortage of affordable or available childcare has made it harder (or impossible) for me to go back to work'.

The survey results were taken from a survey of more than 8,700 people who answered the petitions committee's call for parents to feed in to a range of subjects including childcare, but also access to baby and toddler care, the treatment of pregnant women and their issues around vaccines.

Today a panel of experts, including Joeli Brearley, CEO of Pregnant Then Screwed, added extra evidence to the committee.

Grazia, The Juggle and Pregnant Then Screwed began a campaign and petition calling on the government to conduct an independent review into childcare in June - more than 100,000 signed that petition in a week.

However, the government announced they would not consider a review. Meanwhile, the petitions committee emailed respondents to our petition, asking them to fill in the survey which resulted in the above statistics.

MPs on the Petitions Committee met a year ago for a similar discussion after a series of large petitions called on the government to address the plight of parents during the pandemic - and published a report.

The report backed petitioners' calls for the Government to extend parental leave and pay for all new parents affected by the pandemic. They also recommended the Government follow the science and stay alert to how it supports new parents so that the effects of the pandemic do not continue to impact families for years to come.

A year on, today's panel was to investigate further what was needed and how the pandemic has affected parents in general.

Speaking on our calls for an independent review from government, Joeli today told the panel: ' Our research shows 40pc of working mothers just break even or are paying to go to work.

'We know funding to the childcare sector is not good enough.

'We’re not giving enough money to our childcare sector.

'All we keep hearing from the government is there’s nothing to see here, we’re giving you loads of money, please go away.'

Neil Leitch of the Early Years Alliance - whose FOI found the government have been knowingly underfunding childcareadded: 'Pretending this problem doesn’t exist helps absolutely no-one.'

You can continue to sign our petition here and follow The Juggle for more updates on how the campaign is progressing.

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