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Pebble’s Parent Survey Shows Post-Pandemic Childcare Costs Rocket By Almost £200 Per Week
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In August 2023 we surveyed 2,564 parents of children aged 0-11 (78% of these worked in an office). We wanted to find out about their experiences of childcare costs post-pandemic, and how their careers fit into their childcare responsibilities.
More than half of parents we surveyed said they felt extra pressure to be in the office more than was originally expected of them. This has resulted in an average of £166 per week extra spent on childcare.
Moreover, almost 60% of the parents said they struggled to juggle work and childcare, and 40% said they were struggling to afford the extra cost of childcare.
Increased time in the office
Extra time in the office has meant increased travel costs. Our parents reported an average of £99 extra a week spent in travel costs – this went up to a staggering £133 for London.
Combined with increased childcare costs in London (£205), the average Londonder we surveyed was out of pocket almost £1,000 due to these additional office days.
37% of families said these extra costs were straining their finances, and 20% were worried about how long they could afford to pay these bills.
It is very worrying that 50% of parents we surveyed are planning to quit their current job to find a role that allows them to work from home more, and a third say they’ve already changed jobs to allow them to work from home more.
Lance Beare, Pebble’s CEO, has said:
“The fact that working parents are actively changing jobs in order to manage childcare costs is simply unacceptable, and it’s costly for businesses too. Families need both more flexible childcare options and employers that recognise the challenges of juggling work and home life. When you ask employees to be in a certain place at a certain time, they need to line up childcare; and this comes at a cost; without childcare in place, parents can’t work. Employers need to look at their company benefits and reassess what people need support with today; on-site yoga and pizza lunches are nice, but what about supporting the childcare needs of parents so that they can afford to keep working instead?”
What can be done?
The research clearly shows that families want employers to take more notice of the challenges surrounding childcare and increased office hours.
63% of parents say they would like their bosses to be more understanding, and almost half want financial support when they are asked to come into the office for extra days. Almost half of parents think they should be given the right to choose whether they come into the office for any additional time or not.
The question is – will employers listen?
If you're looking for flexible childcare options, we may be able to help. Head to Pebble to find nannies, childminders or hotel childcare.