According to a report published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), childcare fees have risen by 52% since 2008, while wages have risen by just 17%.
The TUC described the situation as being ‘even worse’ for lone parents, and stated that childcare costs for single parents working full-time have risen ‘seven times faster’ than earnings.
In England, average childcare fees have risen from £159 per week in 2008 to £236 per week in 2018 for a child aged under two; and from £149 per week in 2008 to £232 a week in 2018 for a child aged over two.
Despite government support, including free nursery hours for some working parents and the introduction of the Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) initiative, many families in the UK are ‘still being left with huge childcare bills’, according to the TUC.
It has urged the government to supply additional support, including subsidised, affordable childcare ‘as soon as maternity leave finishes’, and more government funding to enable local authorities to provide nurseries and childcare.
TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: ‘Despite government support, families still face eye-watering nursery bills. Britain’s cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on working mums and dads.’
Are childcare costs a recruitment barrier for your business?
The report from the TUC highlights that childcare costs may simply not make it 'mathematical' sense to work, despite the parents desire to return to employment.
If you are finding that the right talent for your business is impacted by these costs, and want to consider how you can offer employment with flexibility, or you'd like to utilise other benefits to attract the right people to your business, then HJS Human Resources can help.