Press Centre

70% of non-working mums say crippling costs of childcare would make them worse off in work

Latest Asda Mumdex report reveals:

  • 86% of mums want to work to be a good role model to their kids
  • First time mums are twice as worried about financial pressures than they are about their own health
  • The cost of school uniforms is mums’ main back to school worry
  • Mums want Government to help with access to cheaper childcare; more after school clubs, and for employers to offer flexible working to help them get back to work

With families across the country preparing to send their kids back to school, the Asda Mumdex released today (Monday 2nd September) finds that society is not delivering the support structures that mums need to help them balance work and home life.

The report found that for over 70% of non-working mums, going back to work wouldn’t make financial sense, as hefty childcare costs would leave them financially worse off.

Of mums who were able to go back to work after having children two thirds say they don’t just work for the money. 86% work to be a good role model for their kids and a third want to work in order to stimulate their minds.

It is families who are predominantly helping to relieve the burden of childcare costs, with a third of mums relying on their family to help take care of their kids. As a result, mums want Government to provide access to cheaper childcare, more after-school clubs, and for employers to offer better flexible working policies.

The Asda Mumdex – a panel of over 5,500 Asda mums of varying ages and backgrounds – also revealed that mums put the cost of school uniforms top of the list of back to school worries, with 44% naming cost as their main issue – rising to almost 60% of Welsh mums. With uniform costs stacking up, 53% of mums said the freedom to choose where they buy uniform from would be the biggest help. The news comes as research published earlier this month found the cost of bringing up a child has risen to an average of £148,000.

Hayley Tatum, people director at Asda said:

“As the summer holidays draw to a close our latest Mumdex reveals a worrying picture for mums across Britain. The majority of mums want to work to be more financially independent and demonstrate a strong work ethic for their kids, but for many the crippling cost of childcare is keeping them at home.

“It’s clear from our research that mums want access to cheaper childcare and better flexible working. At Asda we are committed to provide parent friendly working practices, but more needs to be done by Government, schools, and employers to help nurture mums’ place in society.”

Ceri Goddard, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said:

“For seven in ten mums surveyed, sky-high childcare costs mean work doesn’t pay. We urgently need to see more done to support parents in combining paid work with responsibilities in the home. More flexible working practices should become the norm, not the exception.

“Having children should not mean mums are forced to give up paid work. Not only does this undermine women’s financial independence, it also means limiting their potential when it comes to contributing to the economic recovery.”

The Mumdex also reveals mums’ top worries immediately after having their first baby as being:

  • The health of their child was mums’ top concern
  • 54% cited financial pressures as a key worry
  • 43% were concerned about losing their baby weight
  • Only 30% cited their own health as a key worry

Mums look up to celebrities who juggle their responsibilities as parents with wider work. Victoria Beckham, Angelina Jolie, Holly Willoughby and Karren Brady were named as their most inspiring celebrity parents. However, they are aware that these celebrity parents are able to afford masses of support to help them achieve their ambitions and so also take inspiration from ‘real mums’ who they see as being just like themselves.

Asda Mums also offer their support to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge as a new mother, advising her to trust her instincts and to not be afraid of asking for help.

“Go with your instinct and don’t let the pressure of being in the public eye spoil your time with your new baby. Everyone else may want to interfere but first and foremost the baby is yours,” – Mum, Asda Mumdex survey.

See full report

Posted in Press Centre on 02 September 2013