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Childcare problems cost families millions new research claims

By Rachel Lawler
Childcare problems cost families millions
Problems finding childcare is costing families £1.2 billion each year in lost earnings, according to new analysis from Save the Children.
The charity estimates that 89,000 mothers of children under five are unable to work because of childcare issues. It says that this represents a total of £3.4 million each day in lost earnings, or between £3,400 and £11,400 per family.
Earnings lost
Steven McIntosh, director of UK poverty policy, advocacy and campaigns at Save the Children, said that families find government childcare support a “nightmare to navigate”. He said: “The result is an astounding loss in earnings, hitting families already battling to make ends meet.”
The report, titled 'Lost opportunities, lost incomes', calls on the government to deliver quality childcare that is easy to access for families.
Underfunded sector
Neil Leitch, chief executive at the Alliance, said that it was “no surprise” that the cost of childcare has a detrimental impact on maternal employment.
Neil said: “For years now, the early years sector has been significantly underfunded, driving up costs for parents and leaving many unable to actually afford to return to work. Add to this the negative impact of underfunding on the availability of childcare places and it’s clear that the government must do more to support the sector financially if it is to address the problems raised in this support.
“That said, it’s vital to remember that childcare policy is not just about supporting parents to return to work – it’s about providing quality early education and learning opportunities to our youngest children. As such, while it’s clear that ministers do indeed need to take urgent action to improve the affordability and availability of childcare, equally important is ensuring that the government is investing what’s needed to support the quality of provision across the sector.”

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