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UK: The challenge of childcare

Today in Dundee, we met with One Parent Families Scotland and parents who use their services to find out about their experiences of childcare.

Cost, availability, and quality were amongst the key themes.

Parents were concerned about the lack of childcare for older children aged 10-15 years old. Some reported paying more for childcare than their mortgage, while one mum had gone into debt to pay childcare costs.

More than three-quarters of the group depended on family for childcare some of the time, whilst one parent talked about the challenges of not having such support.

No choices

What really struck me was the lack of real choices – working or not working, parents would struggle to make ends meet and feel guilty.

The stress that creates is huge and was felt in the emotion of these parents voices.

“We want the best for our kids”

All the parents shared this same sentiment. Many felt unsure that leaving their children with others would give them the upbringing they desired. But many felt that going to work was an important part of being a good role model too.

I think that as a society we owe parents our full support – whether they choose to stay at home and look after kids, or work full time, or anything in between.

Children are the future and deserve whatever is best. Parents need choices, but real choices. At the moment parents are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Show your support – sign our petition calling on George Osborne to make sure mums don’t lose out

Parents who attended the childcare discussion, with Gregor Murray (SNP)


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