Mum delays having children because of price of childcare

A mother says she has delayed having a second child because of the cost of childcare - despite her and her partner working full time.

Emma, 35, said just a few weeks after telling her former employer she was pregnant, she was informed her job was at risk, before being demoted and put on a six-month probation.

Emma, a mother-of-one, said: "Going through a process like that is anyway going through a process like that when you're pregnant and there's also a global pandemic was extremely difficult to deal with."

The mum has now changed jobs and is in a more flexible role while her two-year-old daughter is in full-time nursery.

Emma said: "I remember when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter looking at our finances and just being in tears because I just was like, I don't know how we're going to afford it."

According to the charity Pregnant then Screwed, Emma's family is just one of a growing number of families delaying having children due to not being able to afford childcare.

The group's founder, Joeli Brearley, believes childcare is now "completely unaffordable" for most families.

Emma said "It's a huge cost and expense So, yes, we would really like to have a second child, but the financial implications of that play a huge factor within that.

"I don't think there's enough being done at the moment to support parents and I think that's across the board.

"I'm very lucky to be in the position where I can put my child into full-time childcare, but that doesn't come without its sacrifices in other places.

"Ultimately, we all benefit from a society in which, children are all looked after and those raising them are supported.

"It comes full circle and you end up with a society that is happy, well-rounded and is going out there and being productive."

Hundreds of people campaigning for improvements in childcare and working conditions for parents are preparing to march in Manchester.

'The March of the Mummies' will take place in the city centre on Saturday 29 October, alongside similar protests in 11 other cities nationwide.

A Government spokesperson says it is committed to supporting working parents and helping them participate and progress in their working life in a "way that is fair."

The statement said the Government has spent more than £20 billion over the past five years to improve the cost, choice and availability of childcare.

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