March of The Mummies protest in Glasgow
Press Releases and Research


DATE 5th September 2023; New data from Pregnant Then Screwed has found that more than one in ten (11%) of Scottish parents have been forced out of work due to childcare issues. 


New data from campaign group and charity, Pregnant Then Screwed has uncovered the state of childcare in Scotland today. The new research, which spoke to 1,156 parents with a child under 5 years old, has uncovered that just one-third of parents currently have all of the childcare that they want and need. Of those who don’t have all of the childcare that they want, 43% said that this was due to availability in their area, and for a further 41%, this was due to high costs.


One parent explained, “My husband and I both have relatively well-paid, full-time jobs, and we are struggling so much. I don’t understand what we are expected to do when even just two days a week in nursery is going to cost as much as our mortgage. The system is broken.” 


Carole Erskine, Head of Policy and Campaigns in Scotland from Pregnant Then Screwed comments, We need to understand the real challenges that are impacting parents in Scotland when it comes to childcare. That one in ten parents are being forced out of work due to childcare issues is shocking, we need to see this addressed in the priorities from the government. It’s not just about costs – our new data shows that availability is a huge problem for parents too.” 


In fact, 7% of parents have moved house to be closer to childcare provision, with an additional 10% considering moving to be closer to childcare. Perhaps more shocking, however, is that almost 1 in 10 parents (8%) have had a childcare setting that they are using close in the past 12 months, and 7% of parents explained that their provider has had to reduce the amount of the hours that they can operate.


One concerned parent comments, “The lack of spaces is what is driving the worry for our family. Our child is under 2, and it is virtually impossible to get a space anywhere for 8 months to a year. I am glad my work has been flexible as we would not have managed if I had to work full time”


Carole Erskine, Head of Policy & Campaigns in Scotland from Pregnant Then Screwed, comments, “Parents need to be able to afford to go to work, but they also need to have local childcare settings that their children can attend. If we increase the government-funded ‘free’ hours without considering the current lack of availability that parents are facing in Scotland, then we will continue to see further closures and more talented professionals leaving the industry. We need to look at the sector as a whole to really make childcare work.” 




Notes to Editor:


For all media enquiries contact: 

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Tel: 07756 525 004


About the research:

The research was conducted online between 18th August and September 3rd, with a sample of 1,156 parents with a child under 5 years old


About Pregnant Then Screwed:

Pregnant Then Screwed is a charity that seeks to protect, support and promote the rights of pregnant women and mothers. We carry out extensive research into the effects of systemic cultural and institutional discrimination during pregnancy and motherhood. Our support services include: a free employment rights helpline, a free benefits advice clinic, a free mental health support line, pro bono legal advice and a tribunal mentor scheme that supports women who are considering legal action against their employer. We campaign for changes that will end the motherhood penalty, and we support working mums to rebuild their confidence and find work that works for them.


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