Juliette Fogelman, East London Socialist Party
Childcare costs have risen 5% according to charity Coram. Its family and childcare survey found the weekly price for a part-time nursery place for a child under two is over £130 – £6,800 a year.
A lot of people feel it’s not worth going back to work because they won’t make any money or may end up worse off. It’s not giving women a real choice about whether they want to go back to work. They end up working for nothing.
There’s no way for women to improve their families’ situation because their salary gets eaten up by childcare.
Childcare isn’t available in a lot of areas. Parents check out nurseries before their child is even born. That’s stressful.
If you’re renting you might not know where you’re going to be living – you’re priced out of certain areas.
How can you check childcare 18 months from now? It’s difficult getting on a childcare waiting list a year and a half in advance.
Reliance on relations
Childcare is difficult with shift work. Often it’s grandparents providing free childcare that makes it possible for parents to go back to work.
Not everyone’s parents live nearby or are willing and able to help out. Even If they are, it’s hard work on grandparents.
People have to work longer because of pension attacks. It’s one thing to want to help, another if you have to. 40% of grandparents provide regular childcare.
Statutory maternity pay isn’t enough. If you’re on a well-paid job, you can afford childcare.
If you’re not earning much, you work for free. People feel guilty about leaving their child to not earn anything.
People should have choice to go back. Deciding to go back shouldn’t be based on money.
The main reason I want to go back to work is to earn enough. And if I stayed at home, I’d be accused of being a skiver. But I would be working, I’d be looking after a child.
If people stay home, they should be supported, looking after a child is hard work.