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Childcare costs preventing mums from returning to work

TWO in five mothers say the cost of childcare is preventing them from returning to work, new research suggests.

A third of working mothers are currently spending more than 30 per cent of their wages on childcare, the survey by jobs site Indeed Flex found.

The government announced 30 free hours of childcare support for eligible working parents of children between nine months and their fifth birthday in the Budget.

But Novo Constare, chief executive of Indeed Flex, said: “Many women still feel the measures announced in the Budget don’t go far enough.

“Nursery and childminder costs can swallow a huge chunk of new parents’ earnings, and with the current cost-of-living crisis squeezing every household’s budget, it’s no surprise that some women are put off going back to work.

“It’s clear that there is still a lot to do to balance the scales to make work more accessible for new parents, with women often facing the greatest barriers to returning to work after having children.

“Seeking greater flexibility in your working hours, such as by doing temporary work, is one way new parents can make work work for them when juggling childcare and a job.”

Labour shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said: “The Conservatives’ broken childcare system is denying mothers the opportunity of returning to the workplace, and families, children’s education and our economy are paying the price.

“Far from solving the problem, the Conservatives’ half-baked plans will pour petrol on the fire, with more nurseries likely to leave the sector altogether."

The Department for Education said: “We recognise the cost pressures that childcare has on parents, which is why we recently announced a transformative package of childcare support.”

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