Parents with babes in arms will descend on Parliament today (3 March) to demand that all political parties commit to turning the tide on the rising cost of childcare, ahead of the election.
With 80% of women planning to return to work after having children [i] and childcare costs for under twos rising 33% in the last five years [ii], family charities, NCT and the Family and Childcare Trust have invited parents to share their concerns with MPs.
It isn’t just high costs that are putting working parents under pressure. With only 43% of local councils in England and 18% in Wales reporting sufficient levels of childcare for working parents, finding quality childcare is also an increasing issue.
Susie Parsons, Chief Executive at NCT said:
“Parents across the country are crying out for more childcare support. Those with children under two are particularly squeezed because they are not yet eligible for the statutory 15 hours of free childcare.
“There is lots of rhetoric from political parties about supporting working parents but it’s time to ‘walk the talk’ and commit to policies that will make an actual difference. Giving all parents 15 hours of free childcare from the moment they return to work is an essential start.”
Stephen Dunmore, Chief Executive at the Family and Childcare Trust said:
“Childcare in Britain has reached a tipping point. We now see far too many parents unable to work or increase their hours to lift themselves out of poverty because childcare is simply too expensive.
“The complex childcare system in Britain needs radical reform. In the run-up to the general election we want to see all parties commit to an independent review of childcare. We need a simple system that promotes quality, supports parents and delivers for children.”
 NCT, Working it out: new parents’ experiences of returning to work, December 2014
The Family and Childcare Trust’s annual childcare costs survey 2015