Press Releases and Research

Press Release – Nearly a fifth of parents have had to leave their jobs because of the cost of childcare

Press release: Nearly a fifth of parents have had to leave their jobs because of the cost of childcare

Pregnant Then Screwed has carried out a survey to understand more about the cost and impact of childcare on families, it has found that the exorbitant cost of childcare creates financial anxiety in 84% of households. These findings support recent research by the OECD that singled-out the UK as having the most expensive childcare system in the world with 35.7% of income being spent on it (OECD, April 2019).

The financial burden of childcare has meant that 17% of parents have had to leave their jobs, with 62% saying they work fewer hours because of childcare costs. It is mostly women who bear the brunt of childcare, so this further adds to the motherhood penalty and the gender pay gap.

Retaining female talent and creating a labour market that works for women will be imperative in post Brexit Britain with nine out of ten companies already saying they have a skills shortage. Some 62% of parents work fewer hours because of childcare costs, 22% feel they cannot work because of childcare costs, and a further 22% have had to leave their job due to a lack of flexible childcare.

At present, there is tax free childcare for those who are employed, and 30 hours’ free’ childcare from 3 years old if you meet the criteria. As maternity leave finishes at 9 months it means that parents have over 2 years of extortionate costs if they continue working.

Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed said: “Our latest piece of research highlights exactly why women fall behind in the workplace, and that is because of the punitive costs of childcare. If we are to change the landscape for women, and parents, we need to provide properly subsidised childcare from 9 months old.

“The Government have introduced 30 hours ‘free’ childcare for from 3 years old, and tax-free childcare for employees; this is not enough and impacts not only the parents but childcare providers as they are unable to cover the cost of delivery. Women only get 1 year of maternity leave with only 9 months paid, so there are two years that they either stay at home with the children because of the high cost of childcare or return to work with a huge bill hanging over them – with many reducing their hours in order to strike a balance.

“Childcare is infrastructure. Our childcare system is failing parents, it is failing childcare providers and it is failing childcare staff. We need the Government to create a childcare system that works so that nurseries can stay open and provide good quality care and so that we can close the gender pay gap and start to tackle the motherhood penalty.’’

In sum, are the findings below:

  • 17% of parents have had to leave their job due to the cost of childcare
  • 22% want to work but can’t because of childcare costs
  • 62% work fewer hours because of childcare costs
  • 84% admit that childcare costs create financial anxiety in the home
  • 17% have had to leave their job due to a lack of childcare provision
  • 22% have had to leave their job due to a lack of flexible childcare-ENDS-

For further press information or case studies from Pregnant Then Screwed please contact: [email protected]

Notes to Editor:

About Pregnant Then Screwed ( is a project and campaign which protects, supports and promotes the rights of mothers who suffer the effects of systemic, cultural, and institutional discrimination through our various schemes and activities, including: A free legal advice service, a website where women post their stories of discrimination anonymously, lobbying the Government for legislative change, and a mentor scheme that supports women who are considering legal action against their employer.

Press Releases and Research

Never Miss Out {{ responseTitle }}

Sign up to the Pregnant Then Screwed mailing list so you can stay in the loop on our latest campaigns and achievements as well as tips on how you can help end The Motherhood Penalty {{ responseMessage }}
Whoops. The form is invalid.
  • {{ value }}.