Childcare costs a barrier to young mothers, report finds.

‘The UK has been singled out in a new report as being among the worst countries in the developed world to be a young mother seeking work.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said the UK, along with the US, Ireland and New Zealand, scored lowest out of its 35 member states for this demographic, especially when women are in a couple without access to state subsidies. It said women were on average 1.4 times more likely to be not in education, employment or training (Neet) than men.

“For many of them, this is because they are looking after small children and the high cost of childcare is a major barrier to employment. In the United States, Ireland, United Kingdom and New Zealand, childcare costs for a lone parent can account for between one-third and a half of net income,” the OECD said in its report Society at a Glance 2016, which checks on the wellbeing of households across member states.

The steep rise in childcare costs in the UK means it is the worst place in the OECD to be a couple with young children, the report said. But the introduction of child tax credits means it is among the best countries to be a single parent, alongside Denmark, Luxembourg, France, Germany and Austria, taking into account childcare costs…

Without improvements in schooling and access to further education colleges, periods out of the workforce may get longer, leading to “discouragement and exclusion”, it warned.’ - Guardian


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