Category Archives: Child Care

Child care bills rising faster than income

  • Study shows child care costs jumped 7 percent from 2004 to 2010, while wages stayed flat
  • Child care takes a much bigger slice out of the family budget than before.
  •  Single parents took the hardest hit, with child care outpacing income by 14 percent.

“The issue of affordability is huge,” said Bobbie Weber, OSU researcher and co-author of the report. “Families are facing serious challenges and they want to do the right thing for their children, but faced with these unbearable costs, they do what they can to make it work.”

  • Child care averaged $10,392 annually per family in Oregon. Washington County ranked most expensive with an average price tag of $11,880.
  • In rural counties, such as Umatilla and Morrow, costs were lower. In Umatilla County, parents paid an average of $6,360 per year, and in Morrow County, $5,188.
  • The report also suggested that more low-income parents rely on relatives and friends to look after their children for free. The number of parents who reported using paid care dropped 7 percent since 2004.
  • Quality of overall child care appears to have decreased. About 19 percent of parents said their children didn’t feel safe and secure at their day care facility and 46 percent said their children’s situations were less than ideal.

“The cost of getting quality care and education is not possible for many Oregonians, including many in the middle class,” Weber said.


Do Working Moms Really Prefer Part-Time Jobs?

Some good information in regards to mothers working, childcare and family life with children


  • The less affluent and educated you are, the more likely you are to divorce
  • The more debt you have, and the more day-to-day worries about money, the less likely you are to describe yourself as “very happy” in your marriage (I recognize that this is not a surprising statistic). If you’d prefer to work “part time” but find yourself instead working “full time,” then women, especially, are significantly more likely to be unhappy with their marriage (and presumably with life in general).
  • Both men and women want flexibility in the workplace to support our family lives
  • United States, in 2008, 49 percent of employed men with families reported experiencing work-family conflict (up from 34 percent in 1977).
  • workplace flexibility is just as important to the job satisfaction of low-wage employees as it is to high earners, and just as feasible, albeit in different ways.
  • culture of flexibility appears to be stagnating,” with little growth and fears among employees that taking advantage of flexibility that’s offered will interfere with their employment.
  • In the absence of workplace flexibility, the one way to guarantee that a job will allow you to meet the demands of family life is simple: work fewer hours.
  • issues of available, affordable child care, health care, safe housing and even healthy school meal programs.
  • With those things, the need for shorter hours wanes.
  • Of parents who want to work, do more moms than dads really want to work part time? Or have women just accepted a reality that working fewer hours in the absence of true workplace flexibility for both parents is more conducive to a smooth family life? Would fewer work hours make you happier, or is it the flexibility of the hours that counts?

Families face £1,400 a year hike in childcare costs

28th Nov

The increasing pricing within child care and the resulting effects, such as parents having to choose between work and staying at home due to the huge increase in pricing. As a result poorer families will be left out of the social and educational benefits that childcare offers.


Families face £1,400 a year hike in childcare costs


  • Families are set to see childcare bills rise by up to £1,400 a year by 2015 because of soaring prices and reduced state support, a study shows.
  •  forced to consider giving up work to care for their children themselves because of the squeeze.
  • poorer families would be worst hit proportionally with a 62 per cent rise in the amount they will have to pay out.

It shows that by 2015 the amount a family with a total household income of just £20,000 a year pay towards childcare will have seen a rise of £600 a year compared with the bill in 2006, when state support was at its height.

For a middle income family with average childcare needs the rise would be £900 a year – or 25 per cent – between 2006 and 2015.

Those in a higher income bracket are expected to face a rise of 42 per cent – or £1,400 a year.

 “Paying for high quality formal childcare is already a struggle for many parents, and affordability has been declining since 2006. But the triple whammy of the ever increasing ‘ticket price’ for childcare, cuts to childcare support in the tax credit system, and the freeze in the value of childcare vouchers risks making formal childcare a luxury that many families will no longer be able to afford. This will put parents in an impossible position, forcing many to choose between going to work and incurring a large childcare bill, or staying at home. As well as having a detrimental impact on family budgets and on the labour market, these trends will price the poorest children out of the considerable social and educational benefits offered by quality formal childcare.”

Ian Mulheirn, director of the SMF

Over 50’s provide childcare worth £10 billion

28th Nov

The resulting factors due to the increased rise in childcare, has seen many grandparents providing childcare for their children. This is due to the fact that many have to return to work or work longer hours due to the added cost of child care as well as tax. Grandparents therefore provide around £10 billion worth of childcare.


Over 50’s provide childcare worth £10 billion

  • Grandparents in the UK save parents the equivalent of £1,830 a year in childcare costs
  • Many over 50’s are providing substantial financial support, with nearly half contributing over £1,700 per year for each grandchild.
  •  The amount of money being offered has increased by over 50% in the last 12 months
  • grandparents spend 10 hours per week with their grandchildren
  • Saves parents £1,830 a year in ‘unofficial’ child care costs
  •  Some of the reasons why parents are having to rely more on grandparents include having to return to work, having to work longer hours and the increasing costs of professional childcare.
  •  Sarah Howe who is the Marketing Director at RIAS noted that the cost of childcare had risen by 5% in 2011 resulting in grandparents having to provide “crucial benefits to families“.
  • With families under intense financial pressure, often it is the grandparents who are the ones most able to afford to pay for these big ticket items.

Family Justice Review’s childcare case limit ‘unrealistic’

Trying to meet a proposed six-month deadline on dealing with childcare cases is “unrealistic”, Somerset social services believe.

County authorities already take two months longer than the national average of a year, in putting care proceedings through the family courts.

However, the government is backing the Family Justice Review, which has recommended the new limit, because to a child a year is a “very, very long time”.

“For children to live with uncertainty and anxiety of who’s going to look after them, where they’re going to live… that’s not acceptable,” Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England, Sue Berelowitz said.

But Linda Barnett, head of children’s services in Somerset, believes dealing with cases this quickly risks a child’s long-term future, especially because delays are often caused through developing an understanding the relationship they have with their parents.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

If you conclude a case quickly and the decision is wrong, that’s not fair on the child or on the family”

End Quote Rebecca Stevens Family solicitor

“We had a situation where we had a child being taken to Bristol everyday from a foster carer at the age of nine months to be placed with her mother who was in a psychiatric unit to see what the bonding could be over a period of four months,” she said.

“Those kinds of things are really difficult in terms of the child’s attachment to their primary care givers.”

She believes bringing cases down to a six-month turnaround is “unrealistic but a gradual reduction to under 60 weeks is more achievable”.

“I think it’s a case of all agencies working together with nobody losing sight of the welfare of the child,” said Ms Berelowitz.

Her concern has been echoed by Bath-based family solicitor, Rebecca Stevens.

“If you conclude a case quickly and the decision is wrong, that’s not fair on the child or on the family,” said Ms Stevens.

Another fear for social services is over-assessment, which they believe is not beneficial for the child and also drains the budget.

“I want to spend money wisely where we need an assessment in residential care but I don’t want to have 12 weeks assessment, and then another 16 weeks assessment,” she said.

Courts ‘overworked’

“There are examples in the Norgrove Report of £300,000 being spent for one child – to me that is not a good use of money… if judges are more prepared to accept really high quality social workers’ reports and really high quality guardians’ reports, then that would cost less not more.”

Authorities in Somerset have welcomed other areas of the report, which recommend things like developing closer working relationships with other agencies involved in proceedings.

But for the local courts there are other pressures such as a shortage in court space and resources.

Magistrate, Philippa Hawks, said: “We’re very pushed on court space, we have two legal advisors who lead on the family court and they are very overworked because the work is piling up, and this is why things are taking longer than they should.”

“I’m not over-optimistic of the future but I think in two year’s time I’m hoping it will be better [the length of time a case takes] but everybody is working as hard as they can to achieve it.”

Free nursery places for 140,000 disadvantaged toddlers

28th Nov

A new bill to be passed which will see 140,000 free nursery places for the most disadvantaged toddlers. Due to the increase in childcare this bill is a brilliant idea.


Free nursery places for 140,000 disadvantaged toddlers


  • 140,000 disadvantaged two-year-olds could have free nursery or childcare places under a scheme planned to be rolled out in England.
  • Plans to give 15 hours of free “early education” a week to all two-year-olds from poor homes were announced last year but details have now been set out.
  • At the moment, all three and four-year-olds are currently entitled to 15 hours of early education for 38 weeks a year.
  •  Ministers say access to early education improves the life chances of poor children by helping them develop and get ready for school.
  • Under the pilot, 20,000 two-year-olds received the free provision in a year.


“I want us to give every child the best possible start – so free education for toddlers from the most disadvantaged homes will now be a right and not a privilege. Crucially the extra care will be flexible and easy to access. Parents across the country are bending over backwards to balance work and home. The coalition wants to help in whatever way we can.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg


 “High quality early education is the key to making a difference early on in a child’s life. It’s crucial for their healthy development and means they’re not falling behind before they have even started primary school.”


Head of policy, Chris Wellings, said: “But we are concerned that the government is also cutting money for early years. Early years and youth services will be cut by 20% in this Parliament. We need investment in this area if the government is going to deliver on its promises on social mobility.”


  • More than 20,000 would be eligible in London and a similar number in the north-west of England.
  • Nearly 17,000 in the West Midlands would qualify and a similar number in the South East.
  •  In Yorkshire and the Humber the figure is nearly 15,000 and in the North East it is nearly 8,000.

Young adults ‘feeling the squeeze’

28th Nov

Young adults ‘feeling the squeeze’

  • 20-to-35-year-olds are in crisis, reeling from a uniquely vicious financial assault
  • They’re staggering under debts, fighting to get a toehold in the Lower Mainland housing market and watching their household incomes shrink.
  • “Generation Squeeze,” reflecting the pressures that mount as their living standard slumps.


 “We are talking about a massive social and economic change — one akin to a silent but no less damaging earthquake in our environment.”

  • Experts in personal finance pin the blame for young adults’ plight on an unholy trinity: poor role modelling by parents, lavish spending, and the economic pressures of out-of-reach house prices, dwindling real income and daunting student loans.
  • House prices have risen 149 per cent since 1976 while young couples’ household income fell six per cent in this period.
  • Half of 18-to-34-year-olds call their knowledge of personal financial management fair, poor or very poor.