Home Business News Parents of two-year-olds can earn £774 during free childcare hours from April

Parents of two-year-olds can earn £774 during free childcare hours from April

by Amy Johnson LLB Finance Reporter
23rd Feb 24 7:28 am

Parents eligible for the 15 hours a week of free childcare being made available from April could earn themselves £774 a month by working just those hours, Indeed Flex, the online marketplace for flexible and temporary work, has revealed.

The Government announced last year that it is to expand the provision of free childcare to the parents of children aged from nine months old. Previously, free childcare was only available for parents with youngsters aged three to four.

The scheme is being rolled out in stages, starting with eligible parents of two-year-olds – who will be entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week from 1st April 2024.

With the average cost of childcare in the UK working out at £5.55 an hour, parents can save themselves around £83.25 a week through the scheme.

Temporary work allows parents to choose jobs that suit their needs and fit seamlessly around their lifestyle and childcare commitments, with some shifts lasting as little as four-and-a-half hours.

Indeed Flex analysed the roles on its platform with shifts lasting up to 7.5 hours a day. On average, those jobs pay £12.90 an hour – meaning parents could earn up to £193.50 a week by doing just two shifts (15 hours) of temporary work while their children are at nursery for free.

Over the course of a month, parents would earn £774 while not forking out £333 in childcare fees.

Previous Indeed Flex research found that nearly two in five UK mums (37%) are unable to return to work due to the high cost of childcare.

A quarter (25%) of mums surveyed said temporary work is the only type of work they can fit easily around childcare. Nearly a third (30%) said that the flexibility of temping also allows them to pause work to be home for the school holidays.

From September 2024, the 15 hours a week of free childcare will be extended to all children from the age of nine months. From September 2025, working parents of all children under the age of five will be entitled to 30 hours free childcare per week.

Novo Constare, CEO and Co-founder of Indeed Flex, said, “Many parents with young children find it hard to make the sums add up when balancing work with the cost of professional childcare.

“Too often they face an unenviable choice – go to work and see childcare swallow a huge chunk of their earnings, or put their career on hold to stay home and look after their little ones.

“That’s why the expansion of free childcare from April could enable thousands of parents to get back to work at a time of their choosing. Even if they just work the 15 hours during which the childcare is free, the combination of the costs they save plus the money they earn will bring in hundreds of pounds a month.

“However many hours you want to work, temporary roles often offer parents the flexibility they need. With shifts lasting from as little as four and a half hours, temping can fit seamlessly around childcare – whether that’s the school run in the morning or picking up the kids from nursery in the afternoon.

“Many companies also realise that if they want to attract and retain staff, they need to offer employment options that fit around their workers’ lifestyles. As a result even sectors that historically didn’t offer flexible working options are starting to introduce them – meaning it is getting easier to find temporary jobs which dovetail perfectly with childcare.”

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