Poorest parents pay three times as much on childcare than the richest

One-third of the poorest parents who utilise daycare are in "childcare poverty".

Published on

A think tank shows today that the poorest parents in Britain must spend three times as much of their income on child care than the wealthiest ones.

Today, the Social Market Foundation discloses the magnitude of childcare poverty in the United Kingdom by publishing the complete findings of an investigation conducted for a cross-party Commission on Childcare, chaired by Conservative and Labour MPs.

-ADVERTISEMENT -

The commissioners, John Penrose MP and Siobhain McDonagh MP, are collaborating with the SMF to assess the impact of inadequate childcare provision on earnings and poverty, as well as strategies to increase childcare supply.

A further SMF investigation reveals that one-third of the poorest parents who utilise daycare are in “childcare poverty,” meaning they spend more than 20% of their family income on the service.

According to a study by SMF of data from the annual Family Resources Survey, parents from the lowest income bracket who utilise formal child care spend 17 percent of their net household income on childcare. For parents in the highest income bracket, the percentage is just 5%.

While parents with greater incomes are more likely to utilise formal child care, many of the poorest parents continue to confront exorbitant expenditures for child care. 52% of parents with young children (0-4 years) and household incomes of less than £10,000 pay for some type of formal childcare.

The findings come at a time of year when the need for child care is at its greatest and expenses are rising; the government has just proposed improvements to the system that would gradually reduce the cost of child care.

Autumn publication of the SMF’s strategy document is anticipated to bring solutions to the escalating challenge of inadequate childcare provision.

-ADVERTISEMENT -

The SMF determined that despite a bigger proportion of their family income being spent on child care, parents are receiving significantly fewer hours of care.

The unaffordability of child care has a negative impact on the economy and perpetuates gender inequality, since the SMF found that the expense of child care was the major reason for mothers of small children not working.

Over half (54%) of part-time working women who intended to expand their hours stated they required inexpensive child care to do so.

Scott Corfe, SMF Research Director, said: “Quality, affordable and accessible childcare is vital to social mobility and gender equality.

“At present, far too many are paying through the nose, and yet not receiving nearly enough of it.

“It is imperative that the childcare market is fixed. Low-income families should not have to spend such a large portion of their income on it, and parents should not have to sacrifice their careers for it.”

“Britain urgently needs solutions to prevent the childcare poverty gap from widening with the cost-of-living crisis.

“Our new cross-party commission will provide some answers to deliver the high-quality and affordable childcare that Britain needs.

- Advertisement -

John Penrose, Conservative MP for Weston-super-Mare, said: “Affordable childcare is absolutely essential for any parent with not-yet-independent children who doesn’t want to put their career on hold.

“It’s the way to smash the glass ceilings that prevent many parents, particularly single parents and working mums, from improving their pay or winning a promotion.

“The SMF Commission should dovetail with the Government’s commitment to cut childcare costs by diagnosing and then treating the causes of UK childcare poverty. The effect on levelling-up life chances and earning power across the country should be electric.”

Siobhain McDonagh, Labour MP for Mitcham and Morden, said: “These shocking findings expose the urgent steps that need to be taken by Government to close the inequality that is the cost of childcare poverty gap.

“This new Commission will work cross party to help find those desperately needed policy solutions.

- ADVERTISEMENT -
.

RELATED ARTICLES

piggy bank, money, finance

Energy bills could rise to over £4,200 in early 2023, expert warns

0
"The government must make introducing more support over the first two quarters of 2023 a number one priority."
Iceland supermarket

Iceland to help 40,000 pensioners with £30 food vouchers

0
Food vouchers to help pensioners with the growing cost of living crisis.

Cost of living support package will cover less than half of soaring costs, analysis shows

0
Financial help given to low-income households must be at least doubled to help families through the winter.

Thousands of part-time workers on Universal Credit told to work longer hours or lose benefits

0
Around 114,000 Universal Credit claimaints working part-time will be told to find more hours.
Family on a balcony.

Nearly a third of key worker families in the North West have children living in poverty

0
TUC report reveals that 3 in 10 key worker homes in the North West have children living in poverty.

300,000 on social care assessment waiting lists as experts warn ‘worst fears’ are coming true

0
The adult social care system in England is under unprecented strain and at risk of collapse.
- ADVERTISEMENT -

Latest articles

Energy bills could rise to over £4,200 in early 2023, expert warns

"The government must make introducing more support over the first two quarters of 2023 a number one priority."

Iceland to help 40,000 pensioners with £30 food vouchers

Food vouchers to help pensioners with the growing cost of living crisis.

Cost of living support package will cover less than half of soaring costs, analysis shows

Financial help given to low-income households must be at least doubled to help families through the winter.

Thousands of part-time workers on Universal Credit told to work longer hours or lose benefits

Around 114,000 Universal Credit claimaints working part-time will be told to find more hours.

Nearly a third of key worker families in the North West have children living in poverty

TUC report reveals that 3 in 10 key worker homes in the North West have children living in poverty.
- ADVERTISEMENT -