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Five major problems with the UK childcare system

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The UK childcare system is freeing working parents financially, with a third of households paying more for childcare services than for their rent or mortgage, according to a new large survey.

E poll of more than 20,000 working parents was published by the Mumsnet parents’ website ahead of a parliamentary debate later today, sparked by a petition seeking an independent review of childcare financing.

Labor MP Catherine McKinnell, who will lead the debate as chair of the Petitions Committee, has said she wants to see a clear new vision that ensures parents are not left to choose between their child and their career. due to lack of affordable care for children Me

Expenses exceed wages

The cost of supplying one-year nurseries increased four times faster than wages in England between 2008 and 2016, while in London it increased seven times faster, according to research by the Congress of Trade Unions (TUC).

The UK has the third most expensive childcare system in the world, after only Slovakia and Switzerland, he said GuardianWith Gazeta stressed that the people who were struggling the most were with lower incomes, with universal loans, were single parents, had disabilities or had a black ethnic background.

Indeed, the survey published today, produced by more than a dozen organizations, including Mumsnet, Grazia and the TUC, found that 97% of respondents thought childcare was too expensive.

Forcing women to leave work

Two-thirds of women in the survey who were in paid work when they became pregnant had reduced their working hours since becoming parents.

The math of childcare is awful, wrote journalist Nell Frizzell in VogueWith Women with paid employment are guessed from all sides by this system; or choose to work less than they want in order to try and keep costs low, leaving work full while their child is in school, or needing to hand over a large portion of their income them only for the privilege of staying employed.

The average cost of a full-time nursery for two young children in the UK is 526 per week, not far from the average salary of 585 per week, he explained Money WeekWith And this cost will seem extremely low for many parents in London and the south of England, she added.

The magazine noted that a newspaper published last year by Institute for Fiscal Studies it was found that free full-time child care would be a crucial factor in helping women stay in the labor market.

The poorest families suffering

The government ruled out an independent review of childcare before the debate began, saying it had spent more than $ 3.5 billion in each of the last three years on early education rights. It provides tax-free childcare for children up to the age of 11, while low-income parents may be eligible for additional assistance. Children are also entitled to 15 hours of free childcare per week for 38 weeks per year, but this only starts on the deadline after they turn three and stops when they start school.

Parents who work at least 16 hours a week may be eligible for another 15 hours a week for free, but the Sutton Trust has called this a national scandal. Analysis by the social mobility charity and the Sylvia Adams Charity Trust found that this eligibility criterion meant that children from poor families were excluded from state-funded early education between the ages of three and four because their parents did not earn enough. , reported iNewswith

Delayed access to finance

Today’s poll found that 94% of respondents believed that subsidized child care should start from the end of paid maternity leave, rather than at least two years later when children turn three years old.

McKinnell workers said access to child care is crucial to helping parents get back to work. Writing in Grazia, she said: This has a huge impact on the gender pay gap because, let’s be honest, it is still generally women who take most of the responsibility for childcare.

Megan Jarvie, head of charity Family Coram and Childcare, wrote in same magazine that there is evidence that the government can reimburse 95% of childcare costs through additional tax revenue by supporting women to enter and advance in the workplace, and addressing the gender pay gap that opens after the arrival of children.

Child care providers are struggling

Warnings that the sector of the early years is in danger of collapse have been largely ignored and morale is low, The Guardian added. Previous research by Nursery World the magazine found that one in ten child care workers is living in poverty.

E The Alliance of the Early Years explained that not all childcare providers have to offer 15-hour schemes and hours and places may be limited as the level of funding they receive from the government is not sufficient to cover the cost of allocating places. Providers may pay for optional extras, such as lunches or trips.

McKinnell argued that funding for free rights has not been maintained in recent years, leaving parents and providers in trouble.

Should the role of states be limited to providing the minimum funds needed to cover or only cover the basic costs of childcare in order for parents to return to work? she asked. This means that stressed staff takes care of the maximum number of children legally allowed, potentially higher costs for parents and compulsory providers to provide the cheapest possible model of care.

Sources

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2/ https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/society/954108/five-big-problems-with-the-uks-childcare-system

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