East London Line boroughs have insufficient childcare for young children and struggling parents according to the Family and Childcare Trust.
In the London Childcare report 2014 released by the Trust, statistics point out that the problem is particularly acute in Hackney, where the borough has insufficient childcare in 7 out of their 8 studies on different areas of childcare provision.
The Trust found that the ELL boroughs have insufficient childcare for parents with atypical work patterns. It also found that child-minders are costing an average of £136.40 per week for 25 hours of childcare. Some parents are turning to unregistered child-minders as a result.
The report also outlines that all of the ELL boroughs have insufficient childcare for two year olds, a statistic that is apparent across most of London.
According to the report, over 20 per cent of children in the ELL boroughs are living in poverty, with Tower Hamlets having the highest number in London at 42 per cent. This high figure shows the need for more accessible childcare, especially for children who live in flats and overcrowded houses.
Hackney showed insufficient childcare provision for children aged 3-4 and 5-11, as well as insufficient activities for older children, holiday childcare, and childcare for disabled children.
Because Hackney had such low childcare provision, in all categories, compared to most boroughs in London, we travelled there to find out if mothers have been affected by lack of childcare and activities available to their children.
Lisa Garring-Smith, 32, Single mother of 1, said: “It’s a weekly struggle for me to arrange childcare for my 5 year old daughter; I have to constantly rely on her grandparents for help whilst I am at work. I can’t afford private care so I feel like I have to constantly get support from friends and family.”
Shannon Carmichael, 25, mother of 2, said: “Luckily I work the same hours as when my children are in school, but occasionally I have to bring them into their dad’s office for a few hours when they are finished.”
Claire Rowlings, 43, mother of 2, said: “Childcare hasn’t ever been easy, but at least it was easier a few years back. I’ve been a single mother for over twenty years and there were constant struggles, where I’d usually end up taking my two girls to work. I don’t know how my kids will manage.”
Suzi Nuanda, 20, mother of 1, said (about her son): “I have to take him out with me most of the time. I haven’t been able to hold down a job because of it and haven’t really looked at childcare because it’s unrealistic.”