Child care pressure grows

PRESSURE mounted on ministers yesterday to provide more affordable child care as new figures revealed the scale of the financial burden shouldered by single parents.

More than one in four single mothers spend up to half their take-home pay on nurseries, nannies or child minders, a government-commissioned survey says.

Alan Marsh and Stephen McKay of the Policy Studies Institute, which carried out the study with the Department of Social Security, said the finding was 'quite striking'.

They found that people earning less than pounds 100 a week were forced to pay higher proportions. They note: 'Child care costs, combined with income tax, national insurance and travel-to- work costs, must make their return from work quite low for many of them. This suggests a very strong motivation to work, especially among lone parents.'

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