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Plea for information on childcare issues

Two leading charities are calling on parents from around the UK to arm them with details about how their life is being affected by the rocketing costs of childcare, so a petition can be sent to the government.

Two leading charities, the Daycare Trust and Save the Children are launching a campaign over the spiralling costs associated with childcare, which are amongst the highest levels in the whole of Europe. In the UK, the average cost of childcare is around 28% of the net income for a double-income household. However, the average cost for the countries studied by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development was just 13%, with only the US and Switzerland having higher costs than Britain.

Both groups have expressed concerns over the impact of the recent slashes to childcare benefits and the impact this has had on many families across Britain. With so many households struggling with debt and finances balanced on a knife edge, the reduction in the amount of help provided with childcare costs has meant for some, working ceases to be a viable option, plunging them further into poverty.

The head of UK policy at Save the Children, Sally Copley, said: "Childcare is so expensive it’s becoming a luxury that only families earning a very good wage can comfortably afford. For families on low incomes they simply won’t earn enough to cover their childcare bill as well as living costs, effectively pricing the poorest families out of work. We hope this survey will reveal the impact of childcare costs on Britain’s families so the Government can better understand the barrier such costs create."

Anand Shukla, the Daycare Trust’s acting chief executive, added: "Our research shows that childcare costs have risen every year for the last 10 years. We are urging all parents to complete this survey and support us to campaign for affordable, high-quality childcare for all".

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