Are you being “priced out of work”?

I was reading a story on BBC News this morning which caught my eye. A Tamworth company that provides office space to its customers is so keen to keep hold of valued staff and encourage them to return to work after maternity leave, it’s allowing them to bring their children in to work with them.

The trial initiative has had mixed reviews with some parents finding it easier than others to work with their little ones on their laps.

This might seem like an unusual method of staff retention but it’s no surprise that smaller companies will try anything to keep hold of trustworthy and capable staff.

Childcare costs have been rising rapidly for the last 10 years and childcare in the UK is now amongst the most expensive in the world; we’re joined at the top by America and Switzerland.

Rising costs obviously have an effect on working families; our own research in 2010 showed 30 per cent of parents had considered staying at home, rather than returning to work, so they weren’t faced with lofty fees.

But what’s the real extent of the problem? Are rising costs pricing low-income families out of work and is the return to work the only dilemma faced, or are there other aspects of family life affected by the struggle to afford childcare?

Save the Children and Daycare Trust claim that parents are being “priced out of work” and have teamed up to produce a nationwide consultation that will assess the impact of rising costs on working families. The survey is part of a wider campaign to introduce affordable, quality childcare for all and will be sent to 70,000 working families in the UK. The charities are urging all families to take part.

Don’t forget that childcare vouchers can help working families save up to £1866* per year on registered childcare – visit our website for more information.

* maximum family savings if both working parents are Basic rate tax-payers and use childcare vouchers.