Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
1:12 PM 26th March 2022

One In Four Families Skip Meals Or Forgo Heating And Fuel To Afford Childcare

Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash
Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash
A charity claims one in four families are having to skip meals or forgo heating and fuel to afford childcare.

Joeli Brearley, CEO & Founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, said the rising cost of childcare was a key factor why many were choosing between heating and eating.

The organisation has carried out a survey of its members which revealed the growing scale of the problem.

Speaking to GB News she said:
“The childcare system is forcing many mothers out of work. I mean, who can afford to be paying out the same amount in childcare as they are their rent or their mortgage?

"We found from our survey that one in four families are having to skip meals or forgo heating or fuel to be able to afford this. We have the second most expensive childcare system in the world and it is forcing families out of work and into poverty.”

GB News presenter Patrick Christy asked Joeli if the lack of childcare support is potentially the reason why many in the UK are waiting until later in life to have children or not having them at all.

Brearly confirmed:
“It absolutely is the reason. Our survey demonstrated that it was. Around 75% of people that don’t have children said that childcare costs are the key reason why they’ve decided not to have kids.”

“So all of this is showing us that by not investing in childcare, it’s really bad for the economy. Time and time again, research has shown that if you invest in childcare it is exactly that; it’s an investment. The women’s budget group found that an investment in childcare creates almost three times as many jobs as the same investment in construction.

"A study that was carried out in Australia found that for every dollar you invest in childcare you get three dollars back. It’s not as if this would be something pioneering for the UK because pretty much every other country is already doing this.

"Canada has just committed to investing 30 billion into their childcare sector to ensure that childcare is no more than six dollars a day. Parents in this country are paying upwards of £100 a day. The reason that Canada has done this is not out of the goodness of their hearts or for moral or ethical reasons, but they’ve demonstrated it is good for the economy, it is good for children, it is good for families.”

Pregnant then Screwed urged the government to consider childcare earlier in the year, but found an independent review was rejected on March 8th, incidentally the same day as International Women’s Day.

Joeli added:
“The government keeps ignoring this issue, and it didn’t appear once in the spring budget statement, it was completely not there in the leveling up whitepaper they’ve produced and we’ve been campaigning for the last year for an independent review of the childcare sector so we can understand why it’s all going so horribly wrong, and that campaign was rejected on International Women’s Day. So what does the government mean when it talks about investing in hard working families because families don’t work without childcare.”