According to a major Government study, more than half of stay-at-home mothers wish they could go to work but feel trapped by a lack of adequate childcare.
On the converse, a third of mums currently in the workforce would rather give up their positions to look after their children – if they could afford it.
Simply put; parents aren’t getting the support they need – whatever family choices they’d ideally like to make.
The annual survey of almost 6,200 parents, whose aim is to help shape government policy, found that almost 6.3 million children in England receive childcare on a regular basis; meaning that a significant proportion of the population – eight in 10 families – rely on it.
Yet while two thirds of families make use of formal childcare, four in 10 get help from close family or friends – perhaps their only alternative considering the steep cost of sending to nurseries or employing childminders.
The findings come amid debate over government plans to expand access to childcare.
53 per cent of those not currently in paying jobs said they would prefer to go out to work if they could arrange good quality childcare which was convenient, reliable and affordable. A surprising stat, given the modern glorification of the ‘home executive’ role. (Or maybe we’re just finding ways to euphemise our discontent with amorphous labels; in which case, the responses make perfect sense.)
However; there is some good news to come from the government’s findings:
Sam Gyimah, the education and childcare minister, said: “We are going further to support hardworking parents by extending this to 30 hours a week for three and four-year-olds, backed by a record investment of £6 billion a year by 2020.”
A big step to aid families, or still just not enough to make the change you want for yours?
Via The Telegraph