Wrap around care in the UK is a disaster. The people who suffer most are the mums. Almost half of mums are working below their experience level and say a lack of after school care is holding them back from promotion. Over 1 in 10 can’t afford the wraparound care they need.
Take Jasmine’s* story: “I was a single mum running backwards and forwards to pick up my daughter. I was the first in the office but I could only get in as early as I could after the school drop off. I didn’t have spare cash at the time to afford any additional help outside of before and after school clubs, so I left to get a different role and took a £15k pay cut because it offered flexibility, I could work from 8.30am-4.30pm without any stress.”
The experience of Jasmine* is sadly all too common. The childcare juggle doesn’t stop when children go to school, it just changes. School hours and term times don’t align with most working hours, which means that parents are reliant on breakfast clubs, after-school care and summer camps. The availability of wraparound childcare was already low in some parts of the UK before the pandemic, but further closures has made this more of a problem.
Did you know that nearly half of all mothers in the UK feel trapped in jobs because of a lack of childcare? Neither did we until we spoke to 2,000 mothers to find out what impact the wrap-around care (or the lack of it) is having on parents.The reality is it’s having a detrimental impact on the ability of parents, especially mums, to work. Our own research found that 48% of mothers feel a lack of wraparound childcare stops them from being promoted at work while 45% are working in jobs below their qualification and experience level in order to fit around school hours. Almost one-fifth of mums (17%) can’t find wraparound care in their area, while 12% simply can’t afford it. It shouldn’t be this hard to be a working parent.
Why is this? It’s because our government doesn’t fund childcare like other European countries. And here is the really infuriating bit. In 2019 the government’s election manifesto promised us, the voters, they’d invest a billion pounds in childcare, like before and after school clubs. They got voted in on that manifesto. But the money is nowhere to be seen.
The only answer to solving these problems is to fund childcare properly.
The In-Work Progression Commission has called on the government to create more affordable wraparound childcare places as a way of helping mothers to progress out of low-paid jobs.
Every day at Koru Kids we are building the service that parents need but we can’t do this on our own, we need your help to put pressure on our government.
We are calling on the Secretary of State for Education to follow through on the government’s 2019 election promise to invest £1bn into childcare allocating significant funds for vital wraparound services, so that mothers can work to their full potential, no matter how old their child is.
We need 10k signatures to make a difference. So please sign and share and let’s make some real change for parents.
Let’s fund childcare.