Returning to work – childcare barriers

You may have heard or read in the news recently that survey findings show that more than 300,000 parents have been unable to return to work after maternity leave within the last 12 months, with the biggest barriers being childcare costs and availability.

The facts speak for themselves but many of us find ways around this by requesting flexible working, changing job or career, working part time…

The Mojomums team are all working mums – here’s a few of our stories:


Kelly:  “After having twins, I left my old career in retail travel management behind when my maternity leave finished – I was unable to continue my role as childcare costs would have literally outweighed my salary.  I also wanted to work part time hours, something that would not have been suitable in my previous role.  When joining Mojomums after a 6 month break, I chose to work Saturdays – my husband and close family would look after the twins, I would have a new challenge in my workplace, learning new skills and at the same time contributing a small salary into the household pot.  When the opportunity arose, I was able to increase hours around the boys preschool – however, I was working purely to pay for their schooling, but I did this for many reasons; because I enjoyed my job, because I wanted ‘me time’ away from children and because I knew my children would benefit and enjoy their time there.”

Emma: “I returned to work after my maternity leave and was able to reduce my hours to 4 full days per week.  I was working in London at the time so had to find childcare in a location enroute to work;  I was lucky enough to find a suitable nursery very close to the train station I would use. They were long days for both myself and my baby and financially the nursery fees were high due to demand in our area and the hours that I needed.”

Lucy: “I had to leave my previous role after having my first child – the job was in London and was full time; I wanted a part time role nearer to home.  At the time maternity leave was only 4 months, so my son was very young and once I started my new, part time role I did suffer with Postnatal Depression and I think returning to work so quickly played a part in this.  My son attended a private nursery for one day and grandparents had him for one day each, easing the childcare costs.  By the time I had my daughter, I had changed jobs, was working less hours and my son was attending nursery school every afternoon. Grandparents helped fulfil our childcare needs at this time.”

Caroline:  “I was able to return to my previous career in London, but through personal choice I reduced my hours to 3 full working days.  My daughter was in a private nursery for this time.  Once I had my second child, I looked into different career options; taking courses in areas I had interest in along with working for my husband’s company until my children were  older and attending school.”


Leading childcare search site has published its third Annual Childcare Report, which has revealed that the childcare policies currently in place to help working families are still too confusing – for more information about what you may be entitled to as a new parent click here and to read Mojomums Childcare articles with hints, tips and ideas of what to do with your child when you are at work click here.

Tom Harrow, CEO of and dad of two comments on the findings: “In 2015 we want to see more businesses offering better flexible working hours, and treating mums and dads equally when it comes to childcare – it’s a joint responsibility, and that should be reflected in the workplace, especially as the pay gap between males and females continues to reduce – The gender pay gap for all employees, full-time and part-time, in 2014 was the lowest on record at 19.1%, down from 19.8% in 2013.”


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