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Even during normal times, the UK has been experiencing a crisis in childcare - and childcare costs. TUC research shows that since 2008, the cost of childcare across England has risen three times faster than wages).
The situation is even worse for lone parents, whose childcare costs have risen seven times faster than earnings.
The TUC wants to see proper subsidised and affordable childcare as soon as maternity leave finishes, so that mums no longer have to choose between a family and a career. We need far more government funding for local authorities to provide nurseries and childcare and a bigger role for employers in funding childcare, either through direct subsidy to employees or through on-site childcare.
This section looks at the child care provision that is currently available and how to access it, as well as how to make the case to your employer for better childcare support where you work.
The coronavirus pandemic has made an already bad situation even worse, leaving working parents struggling to manage with unmet childcare needs. Charity Working Families provides resources and support as well as a helpline addressing childcare issues during the pandemic.