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Gloucestershire Business News

Majority of parents believe large companies should subsidise childcare costs

Eighty-five per cent of parents believe companies with over 250 employees should subsidise the childcare costs they incur, according to the latest research.

The survey of working parents by Cuckooz Nest also found that 91 per cent of parents think the government should provide tax relief on childcare costs from an earlier age, to encourage parents to return to work earlier if they wish to.

The availability and affordability of childcare is a big issue for working parents and 46 per cent of those surveyed said that the cost of childcare in relation to their salary was the biggest obstacle when returning to work after having a child.

Flexibility was the second largest obstacle at 28 per cent, with just 15 per cent stating separation from their child as the hardest barrier when returning to work.

Half of all fathers said that finance was the biggest barrier when considering shared parental leave, with 34 per cent also worried about the risk to their career.

Although 52 per cent of parents said that they were happy to wait until their child was between the ages of one and two before returning to work, 65 per cent would return sooner if they could access more flexible childcare arrangements.

Cuckooz Nest is calling on big businesses to do more to support mothers and fathers returning from parental leave and to consider the changes they can make to do this.

Charlie Rosier, co-founder of Cuckooz Nest, said: "Childcare has always been a hot topic and while parents want to secure the best option possible for their child, the lack of flexibility and the high cost of doing so can often mean this just isn't the case. More has to be done to breach this financial barrier to provide flexible, affordable childcare for everyone.

"Of course, there are changes the government can make but we really want to see Britain's big businesses take the lead and get behind this initiative, whether it's to provide an on-site nursery or to subsidise the cost for its employees."

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