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Childcare cost makes working mums pause.

Byline: Paul Groves

A third of working mothers in full time employment have less than half of their salary left after paying for childcare, a new survey has revealed.

With the cost of childcare continuing to spiral upwards, many working mothers in the Midlands are now questioning whether it is worth their while making the daily trek into the office and are contemplating staying at home.

The results of the National Working Mothers Survey have prompted some to question the 'confused' and 'mixed' messages parents are getting from Ministers. On the one hand women are being actively encouraged to go back to full-time work as quickly as possible, but on the other hand neither the Government or employers are helping them juggle work commitments and parenting responsibilities.

The majority admit to anxiety attacks at work after leaving their young children, with 78 per cent feeling disillusioned about being a working mother and 89 per cent saying the stress of balancing home and work life is leading to problems within their family.

Karen Pasquali-Jones, editor of Mother & Baby magazine, which commissioned the survey, said: 'The current British workplace holds little attraction for working mothers.

'Poor maternity benefits, long hours, low paid part-time jobs and hopeless pension schemes make them disillusioned with work.'

The lack of work-based childcare facilities, plus the ever-increasing costs of employing someone to look after their children are also forcing mothers to turn to grandparents.

'Grandparents are the backbone of working mothers, yet they receive absolutely no benefits or tax relief for a role that saves the Government millions every year,' added Ms Pasquali-Jones.

'Motherhood is a demanding full-time job on its own, but sadly it is greatly undervalued by modern society.' Women in the Midlands do appear worse off than counterparts in other areas of the country, with only ten per cent likely to be offered a job share opportunity to help them combine career and motherhood.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 15, 2003
Words:320
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