ONE of the biggest problems facing families or single parents with young children is the cost of childcare.
It can be so high that it often swallows up a whole wage over the course of a month and thus makes it uneconomic for mothers especially to go back to work.
This is obviously not a welcome state of affairs when the country is trying to get as many people into work as possible to help continue the bounce-back from the recent years of economic downturn.
It seems a nonsense for people to feel they are better off not working because the benefits they would get would outweigh their wages when childcare costs are taken out.
A Government scheme which provides free childcare for two-year-olds begins this week in Bradford and should, in theory, make it easier for people to get back to work.
While the new scheme does not provide totally free childcare, it does allow families or parents to get 15 hours a week without cost, which can make the difference between it being economically viable or not for a parent to go back to work.
Very often, due to salary inequalities, it is the mother who does not return to work in cases where it is not practical for both parents to do so. This should hopefully give more choice to more people and allow more women to continue their careers.
What is needed now is an assurance that free childcare places are available in as many areas across the whole Bradford district as possible, and that access to these childcare places is made as simple as possible for all people.