One in three mums would quit work if they could afford to


New research has revealed that one in three working mothers would quit their jobs to raise their families if they could afford to.

The government funded survey by Ipsos Mori found that 37% of all mothers in paid work said that if they could afford to give up work they 'would prefer to stay at home and look after the children.’ 

More than half of the mothers questioned also said they would like to work fewer hours if they could. Only 23% said they would work more hours if they could arrange good quality childcare which was ‘convenient, reliable and affordable’.

27% of those surveyed struggle to meet their childcare costs with the average family paying out around £54 a week on nurseries, babysitters, child minders and after-school care.

The cheapest childcare options were breakfast clubs at £14 a week and after-school activities costing £22 a week.  At the highest end of the spectrum, nannies and au pairs cost an average of £202 a week, nursery schools at £86 a week and day nurseries at £105 a week.

The poll found that 32% of parents rated the affordability of local childcare as very or fairly good, 29% were unsure and 39% said it was very or fairly poor.

Anne Longfield, Chief Executive of the charity 4Children added;

‘This survey shows that childcare is a crucial part of life for most families in modern Britain and is essential in helping parents to work and care for their children. However, as this survey also shows, the cost and inflexible nature of childcare provision today remains a major challenge for too many families.’

The survey also revealed that the majority of parents (58%) said that the overall quality of childcare available to them locally was good, although 30% of the total number questioned said that there were not enough places.

Chief Executive of PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years) Liz Bayram, commented;

‘This report provides yet more evidence that overall childcare cost and accessibility remain a significant challenge for many families.

Whilst it is encouraging to see figures showing an increase in uptake of formal childcare for children from deprived areas, the report also highlights that many parents still feel that finding accessible childcare in their local area is challenging and that cost remains a significant barrier to many wishing to returning to work or study.’ 


  • Date posted:
    10/02/2014
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