Parents unaware of support available

50% of first-time mothers are unaware of the government’s childcare policies and the support available to them, according to a Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (SMCPC) survey.

The survey also showed that working-class parents (57%) and middle-class parents (40%) perception on childcare costs was a deterrent to working more hours.

Other findings from the survey: 

  • 14% of new parents were aware about what childcare funding they were entitled to, 
  • 47% of all parents had little understanding of childcare support available to them in the early stages of parenthood
  • 18% said they had no idea what support was available 
  • 29% said that they were aware of some support available but unsure if they were eligible or how to get it.

By 2020 the government will invest £6 billion into childcare support with 6 different funding plans which will offer parents financial help and support raising their children. These include:

  • working tax credit becoming part of the universal credit
  • childcare vouchers
  • ‘tax free’ childcare system from 2017
  • 15 hours free childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds
  • 15 hours of free childcare for disadvantaged 2 year olds.

Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, said:

“The way childcare is being funded is a confusion piled on a muddle piled on a mess. Without urgent simplification there is a real risk that the government’s noble aims to close the gender pay gap and boost maternal employment will simply not be realised.”

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