Childcare and working parents: the struggles continue

It’s no secret that for many years for so many parents across the UK the juggle of work and childcare has been a source of stress. Trying to find the best financial and practical balance of working and having children cared for is incredibly hard. Every family id different and everyone’s circumstances vary, yet the available options are often very limited.

Whilst the COVID lockdowns in many circumstances eased the need for childcare, this meant that millions of parents were faced with trying to work from home WHILST caring for AND educating their children – struggles parents who already worked from home knew a thing or two about!

Issue of Childcare for working parents 

As working life resumes post-covid19, those who previously benefitted from reduced and alternate working conditions again face the struggles of childcare whilst at work. At a time when the number of mothers with dependant children in work is at its highest in 20 years, this is evidently an issue that needs exposure for progression. 

Take a look at the following statistics.

Key takeaways from this research:

  • Just 1.4% of UK job ads mention enhanced parental leave in 2022.
  • The UK has the second highest childcare costs in the world, averaging £936.41 per month.
  • An estimated 1.7 million women are unable to take on more work due to childcare issues.
  • 29% of the average couple’s income goes on childcare.

With the rising cost of living, many parents are being forced into making the decision between working to bring in a higher income, or reducing their hours in order to cut down on astronomical childcare costs. It’s a constant juggle for parents and a constant source of stress for so many.

What’s clear is that while many mothers are making a return to the workforce, there is still much to be done to ensure there is adequate childcare provision to enable parents to return to work, and to give mothers and fathers alike time to recover and bond with their children without the additional financial burden of reduced pay.

Much of the time we are told that we are lucky to have the ‘choice’ and that we can have it all, but for so many women (in particular) it rarely feels like a choice, and more like a series of tough trade offs.

How do you currently juggle work and childcare and how has that changed over the years?

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