A QUARTER OF CHILDCARE
PROVIDERS PREDICT CLOSING NEXT YEAR BECAUSE OF INADEQUATE FUNDING TO SUBSIDISE THE GOVERNMENT’S 30 ‘FREE’ HOURS
New research finds that 92% of childcare providers are going through financial challenges because of the 30 hours free childcare scheme Pregnant Then Screwed has carried out a survey with 266 childcare providers, which has found that 96% state that the Government subsidy to operate the 30 hours ‘free’ cover, doesn’t cover costs.
This strain on providers means that 22% don’t believe they will still be open this time next year.
With the OECD reporting this year (April, 2019) that the UK had the second most expensive childcare in the world, it comes as no surprise that the industry is in turmoil.
71% admit that they have found it difficult to recruit new staff, 90% think that childcare workers are badly paid and 63% think that childcare workers are overworked, with 69% saying that the lack of skilled workers has had a negative impact on their business.
All this, when 92% admit financial challenges owing to the stress of providing 30 hours ‘free’ childcare by the Government.
The inadequate provision of childcare infrastructure is a key reason behind the motherhood penalty, as it was discovered by Pregnant Then Screwed in a survey of parents that 17% had left their job due to childcare, with 62% working fewer hours due to childcare costs.
The Women’s Budget Group
calculated that investment in a system of free universal early education and childcare of high quality provided to all children in the UK between the age of 6 months and primary school by qualified staff has long-term benefits for children, their parents and the economy.
Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed said:
“Our research with childcare providers demonstrates that the Governments approach to childcare just is not working.
The offer of 30 free hours sounds good on paper, but in reality, it is manifestly inadequate for the scope required.
As it stands mothers get a year of maternity leave, with only 9 months paid. So, there are two years when they either have to stay at home or bear the brunt of the high cost of childcare.
With the Government imposing 30 ‘free’ hours on childcare providers from 3 years onwards for just 38 weeks of the year, providers are recouping costs from younger years. This necessary action to stay in business, is the key reason behind mothers being unable to return the work because of the high costs, further adding to the motherhood penalty and gender pay gap. “
We need the Government to create a childcare system that works for everyone, so that nurseries can stay open and provide quality care, and parents can go to work without facing the burden of high cost childcare.”
The findings are below:
- 71% have found it difficult to recruit new staff
- 91% say a lack of skilled childcare workers is a problem for childcare providers
- 90% say that childcare workers are badly paid
- 63% think that childcare workers are overworked
- 38% believe there aren’t enough training opportunities for childcare workers
- 69% think a lack of skilled childcare workers has had a negative impact on your business
- 92% say that the governments 30 hours ‘free’ childcare scheme is causing them financial challenges
- 96% say that the government subsidy to operate the 30 hour ‘free’ cover doesn’t cover costs
- 22% don’t believe they will still be open this time next year
- 24% of childcare providers feel forced to use supply staff from an agency on a regular basis