PARENTS in East Staffordshire are being hit by the rising cost of childcare with a national study finding more is being spent each year on nurseries and after-school clubs than on a mortgage.
An annual report by The Family and Childcare Trust revealed that the cost for one child in part-time nursery and another in an after-school club is £7,549 per year, while the annual mortgage cost in 2012 was £7,207.
The report also states that many women often fail to return to work after having children due to being unable to afford childcare, and as a result the labour market loses their skills.
East Staffordshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau also point to a lack of child care provision as a contributing factor which is in turn having a knock-on effect and leaving some parents out of pocket.
Melissa Jones, a single mother from Burton, is looking to return to work following maternity leave but is struggling to do so due to her shift patterns.
Although she is employed and could claim Child Tax Credits to cover the cost, she would have to use a registered child minder in order to do so. However there is currently nobody registered in the area that would be able to look after her child overnight.
She is no longer in contact with the child’s father and her parents do not live in the local area.
Dawn Green, Chief Executive of East Staffordshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau said: “Melissa is a prime example of a single mother who wants to return to work but because of the lack of child care provision may not be able to.
“Many of our clients rely on grandparents and relatives to help out but when this isn’t an option shift workers often have very few options, and with more and more people working to and past retirement age family care may not be an option for many.”