Middle class mothers deserting workplace to care for children, Government study shows

Almost four in 10 of them said they would give up work altogether if they
could, while the vast majority rejected the idea that they would work more
hours if they could get good childcare.

Strikingly, it also found that for those who do not use childminders or
nurseries, the biggest reason was not financial but because they simply want
to look after their children themselves.

A third of parents surveyed for the study admitted that they did not see
enough of heir children because of work commitments.

Overall the research, commissioned to measure uptake of Government incentives
for childcare, found that the average cost of childcare has fallen in the
last 12 months after several years of rises.

Overall 4.2 million families in England rely on some form of childcare for 6.1
million children.

In the most deprived areas of the country the number of families using formal
childcare has jumped by 15 per cent in a year, amid efforts to extend free
childcare to the poorest families.

Separate figures show that the number of mothers who work has risen from 60
per cent to 64 per cent between 2011 and 2012.

But the new study showed that among those families deemed to be in the top 20
per cent by income, use of formal childcare has dropped from 67 per cent to
just 60 per cent, a decrease of a tenth in a single year.

Last year households in which at least one partner pays tax at the 40 per cent
rate were stripped of child benefit.

The 340-page report also included extensive polling on families’ attitudes to

It found that although six in 10 parents rated the childcare in their area as
good, a majority of mothers would nevertheless prefer to care for their
children themselves if they could.

Overall 37 per cent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that they
would give up work altogether to care for their children if they could
afford to.

When asked whether they would work more hours than at present if they could
get good quality affordable childcare, two thirds disagreed.

Similarly 57 per cent said that they would work fewer hours to care for their
family if they could.

Laura Perrins, of the campaign group Mothers at Home Matter, said: “The
Government thinks that the promised land lies in work, but for most families
work is a means for supporting their family – a means to an end; not the end
in itself.

“These families have the option of sacrificing a salary to care at home; it is
not going to break them, whereas lower income families it seems that the
choice is being more or less denied to them.”

Elizabeth Truss, the childcare minister, said: “We want to see greater choice
and flexibility for parents which is why it’s encouraging that more parents
are finding childcare to suit their work commitments.

“However, we are not complacent. That’s why we are encouraging school
nurseries to open from 8am to 6pm and offer more flexible hours for part
time workers.

“It’s also why we are establishing childminder agencies to increase the number
of childminders and cutting red tape for nurseries to enable good ones to

Source Article from http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/579309/s/368beb8f/sc/7/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Cwomen0C10A60A85280CMiddle0Eclass0Emothers0Edeserting0Eworkplace0Eto0Ecare0Efor0Echildren0EGovernment0Estudy0Eshows0Bhtml/story01.htm
Middle class mothers deserting workplace to care for children, Government study shows
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