Half of primary school mums have to cut hours over expensive childcare

SWBRticklist - By Oliver Lewis, , , , , Quiz link only (included in copy, no hyperlink) - www.busybeeschildcare.co.uk/childrens-bucket-list-quiz , , Images - https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2bgxsze3t359zbu/AACsJmrDkP3rYbQh5DOovYRQa?dl=0, , , Parents have revealed the top 30 things which should be on a child’s ‘must do’ list before they start school – including jumping in a puddle, making a friend and visiting their local swimming pool., , The poll of 1,000 pre-school parents revealed children should also have fed the ducks, had a birthday party and met some friendly farm animals before starting primary school., , Jumping on a bouncy castle, taking a trip to a toy shop and dancing with parents also ranked highly on the list of things to do in their formative years., , It also emerged 89 per cent of parents believe it is important to regularly introduce new things to their children to help with their development., , The research, commissioned by childcare provider Busy Bees, found for 72 per cent of parents, experiencing new things is important for building their little ones' confidence., , Seven in 10 believe it helps pre-schoolers learn new things while 60 per cent say it allows children to explore different emotions., , Deena Billings, head of experience at Busy Bees, said: “Life is full of wonderful things and every child should experience as much as they possibly can during their early years to help them develop their confidence and understanding of the world., , "Sadly, many have missed out on important milestone moments due to the pandemic., , “These findings confirm what we have seen in our nurseries and heard from parents as they hope to introduce their children to more experiences now that life is returning to normality., , "That’s why we’re building in extra activities at our centres to provide our children with the additional developmental support they need.”, , To extend these experiences further than childcare surroundings, Busy Bees has created a playful quiz [www.busybeeschildcare.co.uk/childrens-bucket-list-quiz] to see which activities their child has already ticked off the list., , Almost two-thirds of parents (63 per cent) believe their child has missed out on many of these key experiences due to the pandemic, with 78 per cent agreeing their development has been held back because of this. , , Social interaction (53 per cent), social skills (51 per cent) and speech (30 per cent) were voted the top things that have been affected., , In a separate survey conducted by the nursery, polling 1,905 parents, it emerged more than a third (36 per cent) are concerned the pandemic has made it harder for their child to feel ready for school., , In fact, four in 10 members of the Busy Bees Parent Panel said they had spoken to their child’s nursery key worker about the impact that the pandemic has had on their child.

HALF of primary school mums have to cut down work thanks to pricey childcare.

A staggering 54 per cent of mums with young kids have had to duck out of taking on more hours because it’s not worth paying someone to look after them, a YouGov poll for Save the Children found.

Soaring childcare costs are keeping women out of work

One in six mums said they would take up a new job if childcare was more affordable.

And four in ten said they would work more hours and explore other jobs further away if they could afford to.

It came after shocking new research showed the average annual cost for a full-time nursery place for an under 2 is now nearly £15,000 a year.

Providers have said they have had to hike costs, while the availability of places has dropped.

HOAR’s Make Universal Credit Work campaign has long called for childcare cash to be paid upfront for Brits on benefits to afford to move into a job.

At the moment they can get up to 85 per cent of their costs covered, but have to claim it back afterwards – a huge barrier to getting into work.

Jeremy Hunt is eying up the huge change ahead of the Budget as ministers plan a major back to work blitz.

Tasha Thomas, from Wiltshire, wants to increase her hours – but says she will end up being worse off financially.

The mum of three is on Universal Credit, and works 16-hours a week part-time.

She said: “We shouldn’t have to feel that we can’t take a promotion because we’ve got to think about childcare.”

Tory MP for Stroud, Siobhan Baillie MP, told HOAR: “It’s bonkers that a pretty generous government offer on childcare through UC is used by only 13 per cent of parents because the system is so poor.

“What low income parent is willing or able to get into debt every term to pay childcare fees.

“A tweak to the UC upfront costs rule will get more parents into work and a route out of benefits and poverty.

“It’s great HOAR has backed the campaign for childcare changes and a fairer system.”