SAHMs: Would Affordable Childcare 'Tempt' You Back To Work?

23 October 2014

Stay At Home Mums And Working Mums

Here’s a question for the stay-at-home mums among you.

Would greater availability of more affordable childcare make you consider ditching the life of a stay-at-home-mum in order to head back to the workplace? Or are you among those who deliberately opted to step off the career ladder in order to focus on your family?

I ask because George Osborne, the government’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, has today announced plan to provide £2million of childcare grants in a bid to entice mums back to work and ‘make Britain the female employment capital of Europe’.

Which is no bad thing, in itself. A lack of affordable childcare is undoubtedly one reason why studies consistently reveal that many mothers who, given the choice, would like to be working, are not in employment. Add to that the spiralling cost of childcare - one study showed that childcare costs have risen by a whopping 77% over the past decade, amounting to costs of more than £100 per week for the average childcare place - and it’s no wonder that so many mothers feel ‘priced out’ of the workplace by the prohibitive cost of childcare. We all know mums who would be worse off financially even if they worked full-time, simply because the ruinous cost of childcare would cancel out their income.

But of course, not all stay-at-home mums are out of work because they can’t afford to go back. Plenty are simply choosing to focus on raising their children, and they might feel compelled to argue that the government is effectively discriminating against stay-at-home mums instead of supporting their choice to invest in the next generation. 

What’s your view? Is the government wrong to prioritise getting mums back to work - with all the benefits that has for the economy - over incentivising them to raise their children?

Image credit: Flickr/https://www.flickr.com/gscsnj

TOPICS:   Childcare and Support

13 comments

  • lcarpenter112
    It would certainly help single mums like myself. My children are 6 and 5. I have no choice but to work full time in order to pay the bills. Yes I would love to stay at home and pick them up from school every day but it's not always a possibility. Bills need to be paid. Lowering childcare costs would mean people like myself would see more of our wage that we work so hard for. It is so disheartening to see that bill every month and most months it really makes to second guess as to wether the struggle is worth it. Lowering costs would take that doubt away.
  • jennie1980
    I am very lucky and have my parents to support me but would love to give them a break and not have to rely on them but childcare is not an option due to hours I work as childcare does not provide at the Times I need if I worked days so it is easier for me and my parents if I work nights. The shifts during the day are 730am till 230pm and 230pm till 930pm to get to work or home it takes 1/2 an hour so any childcare would have to either start at 645am or finish at 10pm which they don't do if they did I would gladly use them and switch to days and go back full time not part time.
  • barhorne
    I am a stay at home mom by choice. I have worked hard since I was 16 and never been out of work, I had my first child at 38 and I am loving every minute of being with her. I saved hard with my own money, bought my own flat at 23 and lived independently until I was 36 and because of this I can afford to stay at home. It has been difficult and there has been no holidays abroad but my children are happy. I am sick of being made to feel that I am a parasite for not working and being a lady of leisure (someone else's words) why do people have to be judged so unfairly? I have complete respect for single moms who work and indeed for ones who do not, and ask that stay at home moms get the same respect. I am not claiming any money, I buy clothes from charity shops so my children have the best. Please let people live their own lives, everyone suffers in their own way. I am an older mom who is grabbing the chance to spend time with her girls - life is short.
  • Karli
    I am a stay at home mum, I think lower cost childcare would help mums but I also think the government should support mums who work part time and choose to educate and instill morals and values in the future generation, that's not to say that mums who work full time are wrong or that the care provided by childminders and pre schools is bad its down to personal choice, for me memory's of mum baking in the kitchen and doing homework while she cooked and talking about my day with my siblings are some of my fondest memory's and made me feel cherished. I want my daughter to have similar memory's
  • linksmanmissy001
    I also get fed up with people saying having children is a lifestyle choice. This won't tempt me back to work either. I didn't have a child to then hand them over for someone else to bring them up. In addition I would pay out more in fees than I would earn. My partner just (by pounds) earns over the thresh hold for any govt financial help so we run a cheap car shop in lidl don't go on holiday and buy clothes and toys from charity shops or car boots. We don't smoke and don't drink and I grow fruit and veggies. My child will grow up with good old fashioned manners know and respect the value of money and will realise that hard work does pay off. This is my job Bringing up the next generation. That is why I had children.
  • Huny3021
    What about stay at home dads I work part time 30 hrs while my husband stays at home looking after my 4 children because childcare is rediculous where is the help there ?????? Not just mums people need to recognise that
  • HelenEarp
    I think the current system is fundamentally flawed. People who don't work get free child places in nursery, yet people who do work have to pay full childcare costs. A generalisation I know but that's the gist of it. I think more needs to be done for parents of multiples. I have twins, I'm 32 and now stay at home after working full time since I was 16. I run a business from home but we are not entitled to any help at all. Even though my childcare costs are double.
  • Roxy2013
    I have just got my payslip and again am disheartened at the fact that I work full time yet as a joint income between me & husband I do all of this for about £200 a month as nursery fees cost us £780 a month for 4 days a week
  • hennaoj
    The government needs to focus more on a proper liviing wage so more families can afford to have just the one parent working in order to have the choice of a stay at home parent and larger companies should be penalised for not giving the option of flexible and part time hours or even the option of working from home in some cases. I personally feel its very important that children have a parent at home.
  • Vcpix
    £100 a wk???I don't know where u got ur research from but in Bedfordhire a nursery place costs between £47 and £58 a day!!! My child care costs are more like £700 a month!!! I've gone back to work just so that we can pay the extra bill, run 2 cars and top up the household income more than half my salary goes on child care!!
  • Heidi Scrimgeour EDITOR
    Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment, hennaoj! Love the idea of incentivising bigger firms to offer flexible working opportunities. Maybe you should start a campaign...
  • Heidi Scrimgeour EDITOR
    I am a stay at home mom by choice. I have worked hard since I was 16 and never been out of work, I had my first child at 38 and I am loving every minute of being with her. I saved hard with my own money, bought my own flat at 23 and lived independently until I was 36 and because of this I can afford to stay at home. It has been difficult and there has been no holidays abroad but my children are happy. I am sick of being made to feel that I am a parasite for not working and being a lady of leisure (someone else's words) why do people have to be judged so unfairly? I have complete respect for single moms who work and indeed for ones who do not, and ask that stay at home moms get the same respect. I am not claiming any money, I buy clothes from charity shops so my children have the best. Please let people live their own lives, everyone suffers in their own way. I am an older mom who is grabbing the chance to spend time with her girls - life is short.
    Thanks for reading and commenting. Sorry to hear you''ve felt like that. Sounds to me like you have much to be proud of, and no reason to let anyone make you feel that way. Enjoy every minute with your girls.
  • Heidi Scrimgeour EDITOR
    It would certainly help single mums like myself. My children are 6 and 5. I have no choice but to work full time in order to pay the bills. Yes I would love to stay at home and pick them up from school every day but it's not always a possibility. Bills need to be paid. Lowering childcare costs would mean people like myself would see more of our wage that we work so hard for. It is so disheartening to see that bill every month and most months it really makes to second guess as to wether the struggle is worth it. Lowering costs would take that doubt away.
    I hear you! Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

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