Government urged to help Barking and Dagenham families facing high childcare costs
PUBLISHED: 16:56 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:15 20 March 2017
Families in Barking and Dagenham face being forced out of work due to high childcare costs, a report published today shows.
According to the Family and Childcare Trust study, a family in the borough with one child at primary school and one at nursery could pay an average of £19,195 per year in childcare bills meaning someone with a full time job earning the London Living Wage on a salary of £19,012 would lose money.
The figures, based on an average cost of £264 per week for a full time nursery place and childminder costs averaging £104 per week in outer London, led city and east London assembly member Unmesh Desai to call on the government to intervene.
“It is vital parents are able to make their own choice about how they want to organise childcare, and not be forced to either stay at home or go back to work because of the high cost of childcare,” he said.
“The government put childcare at the heart of their manifesto – they must now step in to ensure it is affordable, flexible and available to all who need it.”
The London Asembly commented that although two-year-olds are eligible for free childcare if they have special educational needs or the family receives tax credits, in outer London only about a quarter of local authorities have enough places for children entitled to the free offer.
In Barking and Dagenham, there are approximately 19,900 children aged under five and 26,600 aged five to 11.
According to the Family and Childcare Trust, many local authorities also have concerns about availability ahead of the roll out of increased entitlement to free child care for working parents of three and four-year-olds later this year.
The government have been approached for comment.