You are here: News New research shows childcare triple whammy for London's working parents


London parents who work outside normal office hours face an almost impossible struggle to find childcare, with a paltry four out of 33 local authorities having enough childcare for this section of the workforce.  The only exceptions are Hammersmith, Harrow, Lambeth and Richmond, with Brent close to addressing the problem.

New research by the Family and Childcare Trust also reveals a 13 per cent decline in the number of London childminders over the last two years. Childminders often provide more flexible childcare for parents who work atypical hours, but with the average childminder salary at £12,200* a year, many choose to leave the profession.

Childcare costs in London are the highest in the UK, with just 25 hours a week in a nursery costing £109.89 a week for a child under two – a staggering 28 per cent more than the average price across Britain.

Anand Shukla, chief executive at the Family and Childcare Trust said:

"In our 24/7 city, there are 1.4 million people – including nurses, hotel and shop workers and police officers - who are employed in sectors that frequently involve unusual working hours, and many of them are parents. The childcare system in London, with big gaps in provision, lack of flexibility and exorbitant costs represent a big barrier to employment for far too many people in our capital.

"Right now we want to see local authorities making sure there is sufficient childcare for working parents. But for many London parents, work won’t pay until there is a complete overhaul of our broken childcare system."

Other key findings from the Family and Childcare Trust’s London childcare research include:

  • 23 local authorities did not have enough places for two year olds who qualify for the free early education offer.
  • 12 local authorities do not have enough childcare for three or four year olds, a worse position than in 2012.
  • 15 local authorities did not have enough childcare for disabled children, and a further eight did not know if they had enough childcare for this group of children.
  • 11 local authorities do not have enough afterschool childcare for five to 11 year olds.

A full copy of the Family and Childcare Trust’s London Childcare Report is available here

*Source: Childcare Provider Finances Survey, 2012, Department for Education.



Contact: Mark Bou Mansour, Communications and Campaigns Manager. Telephone: 0207 940 7535, mobile: 07538 334 772, email:

Notes to Editors:

  • London has the lowest rate of maternal employment of any region or nation in the UK. Just 63.3 per cent of mothers with dependent children were in work in London in 2013, compared with 72.9 per cent in the rest of the UK.
  • Mid-year estimates suggest that there were 1.6 million children aged 0-14 living in London in 2013.
  • Some 10 per cent of households in London are single parent households with dependent children, yet single parents have a lower employment rate in the capital – 57.5 per cent – compared with 60 per cent elsewhere in the UK.
  • Some 16 per cent of Londoners travel for more than one hour to work, increasing the demand for childcare early in the morning and after 6pm in the evening.
  • For a London family with two children, the cost for one child in part-time nursery care and one in an after school club is £9,149 per year. Full-time childcare – which is what many London parents use - would cost £14,104.


The Family and Childcare Trust’s London Childcare Report 2014 is its most detailed report on childcare in the capital ever to have been undertaken, using a range of data including our own research as well as information from local authorities and national statistics.

About the Family and Childcare Trust

The Family and Childcare Trust aims to make the UK a better place for families. We are a leading national family charity in the field of policy, research and advocacy on childcare and family issues, with over 40 years’ experience. Our on-the-ground work with parents and providers informs our research and campaigns. We focus on the early years and childcare because they are crucial to boosting children’s outcomes throughout life and supporting parents to work.