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.”