The Annual Childcare Report 2015 has arrived!

Today we launch the third edition of our Annual Childcare Report. Annual Childcare Report 2015

This report is released year on year, which highlights key facts and figures supplied by families all over the UK about the cost of childcare and whether the government are doing enough. And this year, it’s just got even bigger…

The key statistic highlighted in the Annual Childcare Report is that ineffective childcare policies stopped more than 300,000 parents returning to work in 2014, costing taxpayers £1.8 billion.

The report reveals the true impact that the coalition government is having on UK families, including the biggest barriers to childcare, struggles with returning to work, availability and cost.

We have been given the support by a range of experts and figure-heads of the childcare industry, Siobhan Freeguard, Founder of Netmums, Jane Knight, Founder of Successful Mums and Kate Armitage, Marketing Director of Gibsons. It also includes case studies of real parents on the parenting front line.

Tom Harrow, CEO of and dad of two comments on the findings:

“The last 12 months have seen very little change when it comes to childcare, and the general feeling toward government hasn’t shifted amongst the age group that are most affected – 18-34 year olds.

“In 2015 we want to see more businesses offering better flexible working hours, and treating mums and dads equally when it comes to childcare – it’s a joint responsibility, and that should be reflected in the workplace, especially as the pay gap between males and females continues to reduce – The gender pay gap for all employees, full-time and part-time, in 2014 was the lowest on record at 19.1%, down from 19.8% in 2013.

“I created to help working parents, like me, to find suitable, affordable childcare solutions – and since then, we’ve helped over hundreds of thousands families continue with their lives, rather than being restricted by their decision to have children.”

Key findings:

Is the government doing enough?

  • Parents in the UK continue to warm to the UK government when it comes to childcare support – within the last 24 months parents’ trust in the government has increased by 9% (18% in 2013 / 25% in 2014 / 27% in 2015). The government still have a lot of convincing to do as 49% of all parents still say they’re not doing enough.
  • The age bracket least impressed with the government’s efforts is 25-34 year olds with over half (53%) saying that they are not doing enough.
  • The top five regions where parents think the government should be doing more when it comes to childcare are:
    • Scotland – 57%
    • London – 57%
    • East Midlands – 56%
    • Northern Ireland – 55%
    • South West – 53%

Affording to work

  • Since 2013 there has been a 3% rise in parents who are employed part-time or full-time
    • 77% in 2013
    • 77% in 2014
    • 80% in 2015
  • A quarter (25%) of all unemployed mums in the UK say they would like to work, but childcare costs are stopping them.
  • Younger parents need the most help returning to work. 26% of all unemployed parents aged 25-34 say they would like to work, but can’t afford the childcare, affecting approximately 118,777 parents. This is followed closely by 23% of 18-24 year olds, a further 183,965 parents affected*.
  • The top five cities where unemployed parents would like to work but can’t afford the childcare costs are:
    • London – 29%
    • Bristol – 25%
    • Birmingham – 25%
    • Cardiff – 24%
    • Leeds – 22%
  • London has the highest number of unemployed parents (39%) compared to Northern Ireland which has the most employed parents (86%).

The more children an unemployed parent has, the less likely they are to work, due to childcare costs:

Number of Children % that would like to work, but can’t
*Based on the amount of parents with dependent children in England and Wales
1 16%
2-3 21%
4-5 44% (up by 9% since last year)

Digital technology & child development

With more than 44,000 apps available and aimed at children on iTunes, never has a generation been so exposed to technology. We asked parents if they are keen on their children using technology regularly (86% yes) and if they believed it enhanced their child’s development (79% yes).

Despite these findings, when it comes to looking after children that are not our own, we tend to use technology less often. Only 60% of childcare professionals we asked said they feel comfortable allowing the children they are responsible for to use digital technology.

Want to find out more? Then you can read the full report here.Any questions? Then email us:, and we’d be happy to help you.

View Annual Childcare Report 2015

Anna Curtis

About Anna Curtis

Customer Care Manager for bringing great childcare advice to parents and Childcare Professionals across the UK. Connect with Anna Curtis.
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