Charlie Weston: Our failure to properly tackle childcare’s sky-high cost is a scandal
IT is a burden that working parents in few other countries have to bear. The cost of childcare is scandalously high, amounting to the equivalent of a second mortgage for many working couples.
Our childcare costs are the second most expensive among some 35 countries that make up the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), which is basically all western nations.
Only in the US is it more expensive to access childcare.
In fact it is not unusual for the monthly cost of one child to be around €1,000. No wonder so many people give up work to become stay-at-home mums or dads.
The sheer expense of having someone look after our children actually damages our competitiveness, according to the National Competitive Council.
It said last month that the cost of childcare can amount to 90pc of the second earner’s income. This compares to 57pc in the OECD.
And the cost of children is a key reason for low levels of female participation in the workforce.