“Childcare costs doom large families to poverty”

The government must change its policy on childcare to recognise
the needs of larger families, says the Trades Union Congress.

In a joint campaign with the Daycare Trust, the TUC says the
lack of childcare and its high cost means thousands of larger
families are doomed to poverty.

The government should move towards a universal system of
childcare whereby all women can access it, say the two
organisations. It should increase spending on childcare, increasing
the proportion of childcare costs covered by the tax credit, they

It should also encourage a new partnership involving central and
local government, employers and trade unions, aimed at creating a
more comprehensive childcare system and a more child-friendly
working environment.

Childcare costs to parents have risen more than the rate of
inflation for the third year running, according to a Daycare Trust
survey. The typical cost of a nursery place for a child under two
in 2004 is £134 a week, and the typical cost of a full time
place with a childminder is £120 a week. Parents with two or
more children using childcare face double or more these costs.
Average household income is £562 a week.

The Daycare Trust is calling on the government to increase the
percentage of childcare costs covered by the tax credit.

A report commissioned by the Daycare Trust and TUC by Bristol
academic Professor Hilary Land shows that children in large
families are more likely to be poor than others.

Although only a third of children are in families with three or
more children, they account for half of all poor children.

Land says the UK should learn from the experience of France and
Sweden which have more generous parental leave systems, as well as
more affordable child care options.

Women, child poverty and childcare – making the inks.
£10 from the Daycare Trust. 0207 840 3350.

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