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Press Releases and Research




The brutal cost of parenting today is revealed with 57% of parents cutting their hours to be able to afford to work


DATE: 15th November 2022; Today, new research from Pregnant Then Screwed has revealed the tough budget cuts that parents are facing due to the high cost of childcare, with almost a third (31.9%) of parents unable to afford to have any more children. 


Parents are struggling to make ends meet, with the cost of childcare outbalancing their salaries, meaning that some parents are forced to pay to work. As a result, parents are falling out of the workplace, with 1 in 10 (13%) of parents revealing that they or their partner have had to leave their job due to childcare issues, affordability and availability of care. 


The heavy price of these decisions is taking its toll, with 57% of parents having to reduce their hours and their earnings, buckling under the pressure of childcare bills. This isn’t through wanting to work less; rather, just half of all parents (56.3%) of parents of a child under five feel they have all of the childcare that they need; for families with a household income of less than £40k, just 42% believe they have all the childcare they need, and then just 37% of those not currently not in employment are happy with their childcare arrangements. However, of those who have been unable to meet their childcare needs,  80% said it was because they simply cannot afford it. 


The financial pressure is starting from the get-go with the government’s low-funded maternity and paternity leave package, unable to support parents for the time they would like to have off with their newborns. With the cost of living crisis and bills going up, just 29.1% of those who are pregnant or have a child under 12 months old are taking the length of maternity or paternity leave that they want to. Of those reducing their leave, a fifth (19.7%)  said that they would only be taking six months or less maternity or paternity leave, and 5% will be taking less than three months.


Joeli Brearley, Founder and CEO of Pregnant Then Screwed, comments, “The UK is running out of babies, which will ultimately lead to a shortage of workers and further economic decline as the population gets older. It’s a ticking time bomb that politicians need to get a grip of right now, yet we’ve seen inertia from the current Government, who seem to only focus on the immediate future. As the voice of working mothers in the UK, we want to be clear – women are delaying having children or not having more children because our current set-up prices mothers out of the labour market and into poverty. We don’t want tax cuts or letters from royals; we want good quality affordable childcare, properly paid parental leave that works for all parents and flexible working to be the default. Listen to us, invest in systems that allow us to have children and earn a living, and maybe we will bonk for Britain.


The other issue that parents face is childcare availability in their local area, with a quarter of parents (22.9%) sharing that there were no childcare places available to them within a 10-mile radius of where they live. For 50% of parents who do not have all the childcare they would like, availability is the blame. Almost 1 in 10 parents (8.3%) have experienced the closure of a formal childcare setting they were using in the last 12 months. Additionally, 11% of parents said that their childcare provider has had to reduce the times they operate, and 52% of parents have had to reduce their working hours as a result. 


Joeli Brearley, CEO and Founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, continues, “The key issue here is the cost of childcare, with two-thirds of parents paying the same or more for their childcare as their rent or mortgage. We are yet to see the Government come up with a credible plan to fix the childcare crisis. Rumours about increasing ratios are not the answer; 85% of parents say they do not want ratios to increase, with safety concerns a key issue for many. 84% of nursery providers are also struggling to hire staff – increasing their workload for no additional pay would be the nail in the coffin for some; in fact, a third of nursery staff are currently thinking about leaving the sector. The sector urgently needs investment. It is folding in front of our eyes, and the government is just watching it fall.”


With the heavy weight of the cost of living crushing down on childcare settings, childcare costs for parents are still rising, 44% of parents said that their childcare day rates had increased by between 5 and 10% in the last ten months, and 18% have seen their childcare rates increased by 11% or more in the last ten months. With childcare costs going up, it is clear that investment in the childcare sector is no longer optional; it’s a budget essential. 




Notes to Editor: 

For media enquiries, contact:

Celia Venables 

[email protected]

07756 525 004


Case studies are available upon request. 


About the research:

The survey was self selecting and ran via Typeform between the 19th of August and the 6th of September 2022. The survey was promoted to the Pregnant Then Screwed community organically via Instagram.

We hired Peter Fabianski, a data analyst from The Press Association with over 10 years experience to analyse the results (however this was in a freelance capacity and not an official collaboration with PA).

The survey originally had 11,668 responses but Peter excluded the following respondents 

  1.     People who said that they do not have a child under five AND are neither at least 20 weeks pregnant OR have a partner who is pregnant.

With those exclusions the total responses was 11,507

I have included the demographic breakdown of respondents after the above exclusions below 


94% White

2.4% Mixed Race

1.8% Asian or Asian British

0.8% Other ethnic group

0.8% Black African Caribbean or Black British

0.1% Arab


South East 22.1%

London 16.3%

North West 10%

South West 12.3% 

Yorkshire & Humber 7.6%

West Midlands 6.1%

East England 7.4%

East Midlands 6.3%

North East 3.6%

Scotland 4.6%

Wales 2.4%

Northern Ireland 1.2%


98.6% Female


98.3% 26 or older


1 child under 5 years old 66%

2 children under 5 years old 32.1%

3 children under 5 years old 1.4%

No children under 5 but expecting a child 0.6%


1.8% have a child under 5 with a disability


Full Time Workers 35.7%

Part Time Workers 37.7%

Self Employed 5%


Own a business 2.7%


Are employed and on maternity or parental leave 22.2%

Currently Not in Employment 4.3%

Student 1.4%

(please note you could select more than one option here which is why it is more than 100% e.g. you could be a part time worker AND a student)


Heterosexual Relationship 95.1%

Single Parents 2.8%

Same Sex Relationship 1.9%

Other 0.2%


Household income brackets

Less than £20k 1.9%

Between £20k – £25k 1.6%

Between £25k – £30k 2.3%

Between £30k – £35k 3%

Between £35k – £40k 4.7%

Between £40k – £45k 5.2%

Between £45k – £50k 6.7%

Between £50k – £60k 11.9%

Between £60k – £70k 11.7%

Between £70k – £80k 10.9%

Between £80k – £90k 9.3%

Between £90k – £100k 9%

Between £100k – £150k 14.6%

Between £150k – £200k 5%

More than £200k 2.1%




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