Parents can’t have it all: the childcare crisis in the UK


We’re diving into the conversation on the childcare crisis in the UK. Pregnant Then Screwed and Women In Data have conducted a study to reveal some shocking truths about the struggles parents and partners are facing with regards to childcare.


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Let's talk about the not-so-glam side of parenting, the uphill battle against skyrocketing childcare costs. Recently, Pregnant Then Screwed and Women In Data teamed up to uncover some eye-opening truths about the challenges dads are facing, especially when it comes to paternity leave and childcare.

The study showed that 70.6% of dads had to cut their paternity leave short because they couldn't afford to stay off any longer. When it comes to enhanced paternity leave benefits, only 29% of dads could get their hands on them, dropping to a measly 20% for households bringing in less than £60,000.

The findings from this study also reveals that a staggering 46% of parents and partners in England with children under the age of five are taking out credit card loans or dipping into their savings in order to cover childcare expenses. With the recent conversation on “can women have it all?” on Good Morning Britain causing a debate on the internet, it almost feels like the conversation is redundant because no parent, partner, mother or father can have it all at this point. There’s both a cost of living and working crisis in the UK that’s affecting children. From a work perspective, a recent Indeed Flex study revealed that 40% of mums and partners are waving goodbye to work because they simply can't afford childcare. For mums and partners with toddlers not yet in school, that number skyrockets to a whopping 61%. 

Here’s the thing, the conversation around childcare costs cannot continue to be about women having it all and the sacrifices they need to make to have a career but actually we need to shed light on the urgent need for better support systems and accessible parental leave policies. Which why we support and love communities such as Pregnant The Screwed, Women in Data and Bubble who are champions and shedding more light on these issues.

About the research:

This research was commissioned by Pregnant Then Screwed. Survey design, weighting and survey analysis powered and executed by the Women in Data® team led by Taisiya Merkulova. A final sample of 5,870 respondents was randomly selected from a pool of 35,800 survey respondents. The sample is nationally representative across the UK population along gender, region, social grade and ethnicity. Weighting is based on the latest census and population estimations published by the ONS, NISRA and NRS.

About Pregnant Then Screwed: 

Pregnant Then Screwed is a charity that seeks to protect, support and promote the rights of pregnant women and mothers. They carry out extensive research into the effects of systemic cultural and institutional discrimination during pregnancy and motherhood. Their 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.

About Women in Data:
Women in data® is a membership organisation whose mission is to achieve gender parity in the Data and Tech industries. Our objective is to create interventions to attract more female and gender diverse data professionals to the industry and then ensure they are retained to maximise their individual career potential.

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