Families in Northern Ireland pay £16,000 a year on childcare
With childcare costs amounting to just over £16,000 for a household with two children, the average family here allocates 90% of their salary towards childcare.
Nearly 2,500 parents participated in the survey, with just under half stating that the cost of childcare has influenced the number of hours they work.
Marie Marin, Chief Executive Officer with Employers For Childcare Charitable Group, commented: “We have long argued that childcare is a long standing barrier to employment, with many parents struggling to meet their childcare costs. We hope that, through our report launch today, the Northern Ireland Executive willl start to invest more into childcare services.
Shirley McLaughlin a parent who completed the survey and spoke at the launch: “We had and continue to have difficulty balancing family & work life, childcare costs are expensive. I want to work and contribute to our economy, however we struggle, and I can understand why so many parents reduce their hours or give up work completely I would like to see our Government do more to support working parents”.
At a time when the Government is trying to encourage more people back into the workplace, the annual childcare bill for many parents across the region raises an important and challenging question: Does it pay to work?