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Annie Hayes



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Soaring childcare costs keeps mums at home


The expense of childcare is forcing mothers to turn their backs on work, despite a desire to return to the office.

Almost three-quarters of mums say they wanted to go back to work after their maternity leave came to an end, but only a quarter of those did. More than 26 per cent of mums did not go back to work until their child started school.

Parents pay an average £111.31 a week for their child to be looked after – a total of £5788.12 a year – meaning for many returning to work is not financially lucrative.

It is not surprising that 81 per cent of parents think childcare is too expensive, while 90 per cent think more should be done to help mothers get back to work after having children.

A quarter of mums manage to get back to work with family help, and 30 per cent say their parents help to share the childcare. Just 7 per cent also get financial help towards the childcare costs from the grandparents.

In a silver lining for working parents, more than 28 per cent were offered help by their employer with a quarter of those being offered flexible hours to make it easier when it came to childcare.

Four per cent of employers allowed mothers to work from home while 3 per cent provide a crèche in the office.

John Sewell, managing director of, the survey authors said:

“It’s encouraging that some employers are working with mothers and being flexible to allow them to go back to their jobs, but, according to the results of this survey, not enough is being done to help those parents who want to carry on with their career.”

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Annie Hayes


Read more from Annie Hayes

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