Childcare during holidays and after school is a struggle for more than half of working mothers, a new survey has revealed.
The poll of more than 2,300 mums carried out by Workingmums.co.uk’s showed 57 per cent have a problem with childcare for their school-aged children.
Sixty-one per cent of mums who are not working said the high cost of childcare was making it difficult for them to return to employment –a figure up from 57 per cent last year – while 45% rely on grandparents to save money.
The Government’s new tax-free initiative for childcare for three to four year olds allows families where both parents work to claim back up to 20% of childcare costs up to a maximum of £2,000 a year. The scheme will extend to cover children under 12 in the next year.
But more than half of the survey respondents said this would not help them, while 14% said they did not know if Government childcare plans would ultimately help or not. A third who currently claim tax credits said that they face cuts to their childcare support.
The survey also flagged the lack of flexible childcare, with 41 per cent saying childcare options available were not suitable for their needs. This is likely to include those who are self-employed, working shifts or starting work early or late.
Gillian Nissim, founder of Workingmums.co.uk, said: “The survey results show there are significant problems with the cost and availability of childcare and with the kind of flexible childcare options that parents are increasingly demanding.
“In the last General Election, childcare featured prominently, yet most of the focus was on early years.
“Childcare for school-aged children consequently remains a particular problem and parents feel that this not being addressed by government policy.”
Workingmums.co.uk is a jobs and community site for professional working mothers. It has over 320,000 registered users and works with thousands of employers.