Coram Family and Childcare releases the Childcare Survey 2023
As seen on BBC News last week, Coram Family and Childcare released the Childcare Survey 2023, which is the 22nd annual survey they have produced, mapping the cost and availability of childcare across Great Britain. In the report, they have highlighted some key findings, including the significant shortfall in available childcare places and substantial price increases.
The childcare shortages mean the children who stand to gain the most from childcare risk missing out. There is strong evidence that high-quality early education can narrow the achievement gap between disadvantaged children and their peers that exist before they start school. Childcare providers often rely on income from parents to break even – when pressed, this can lead them to have to prioritise places for families who are also able to pay.
The lack of available places has had an impact on parents being forced to give up work and nurseries closing in areas they are needed most. Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed comments “Our research found that for three-quarters of mothers, it doesn’t make financial sense for them to work, with prices set to increase further, we will see more parents forced out of their jobs and into poverty. This isn’t a ‘mummy issue’ this is an issue for the whole of society – it contributes to the skills gap, it inhibits economic growth, and it ensures only the very wealthy can access early years education for their children thereby entrenching inequality.”
Childcare has the potential to enable parents to work, increase tax revenue and lowering benefit payments, and boost children’s outcomes and our system is not currently achieving this potential.