Childcare costs are the biggest barrier to work for mothers, new research has found.
A study of nearly 2,000 mothers in the UK revealed that employers’ unwillingness or inability to offer more hours was the second biggest barrier to work.
The research from the Resolution Foundation together with social network Mumsnet found that 67% of mothers in work and 64% of mothers out of work with children under 10 blamed childcare costs.
Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts called for the government to think about childcare “as infrastructure to the economy in the same way as we think about transport or technology”.
She said: “Enabling women who want to work or who want to work more hours to do so, brings real financial benefits to their own family income and also to the wider economy.”
Report author and Resolution Foundation deputy chief executive Vidhya Alakeson said not enough is being done to help mothers take on more work – particularly to reduce childcare costs and increase workplace flexibility.
She said: “Not enough is being done to help women with children to take on more work if they want to, especially with regard to reducing the costs of childcare and improving working flexibility.
“It’s especially worrying that current plans to reform childcare direct more support to better-off parents when it is the less well-off who would benefit most and, at the same time, save money from the public purse by taking on more work.”