Childcare shortages ‘cost £27bn a year’

Young family bonding in the park

Young family bonding in the park (Image: Metro)

The lack of affordable and accessible childcare costs us £27bn a year, with mothers missing out on £9.4bn in revenue, a study shows.

Around 1.5 million mothers would work more hours if they had adequate childcare, while 470,000 have quit work altogether to look after their children, according to the Center for Progressive Policy (CPP).

Nearly 900,000 have cut their hours and 970,000 have missed out on promotions over child-rearing responsibilities, the think tank said.

She hailed a government decision in December recognizing childcare facilities as a vital infrastructure and opening the door for local governments to force homebuilders to pay for them.

This was followed by a campaign led by Labor MP Stella Creasy, who said the failure to give nursery schools a place in new developments was helping to force many parents out of areas where they existed.

CPP said ministers could further increase investment in childcare by borrowing against future returns as mothers re-enter the labor market.

“Childcare is infrastructure: it enables people to go to work, access better skills and income, and contribute to the economy,” said CPP’s Rosie Fogden.

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Justin Scacco

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