It’s been found in a recent report that parents are struggling to keep their jobs with the spiraling costs of child care often costing more than their total earnings. The average cost in the UK for day care has seen a 6% rise in prices for children under two years old, whereas the average wage increase was just 0.3%.
Overall, the annual cost of nurseries and child minders rose by an astonishing 4% for children under two years old and with the tax credits from the Government coming under fire, low income families are struggling to cope and even think it’s easier to quit their jobs to look after their children and fend off the benefits system.
Although 44,000 less families are receiving help from the tax credits system, which has impacted across the board with around £500 less being given per year, the average costs of day care are £100 per week, or around £5,000 per year, and this has seen families forced into debt. With regional prices of childcare differing, for example it costs around £300 per week in London for childcare in a part-time place, and as the inflation-busting costs of childcare has made family’s budgets even more stretched.
To combat this, the Government are encouraging employers to allow flexible working hours for their staff to take the burden off tax credits and people struggling to stay in work so that they can look after their young children. With the childcare tax credits coming into place in 2015, which will give free education to 2-4 year olds, this should help reduce the struggle that low-income families have.
The new rules, regulations and tax system will mean that parents in low-paid jobs will be able to give their children a fair start in life with free education and free childcare from an early age. There is a £300 million investment into childcare costs to help families coming into place soon.