With the costs of living in London spiralling, it is becoming increasingly difficult for lone parents to work in the capital.
I know several single parents who have been forced to quit their jobs because they cannot afford the cost of childcare. These exorbitant fees, a necessary cost, for most working parents, are simply pushing people out of the job market, taking away a person’s right to work.
Schools are playing their part by offering breakfast and supper clubs but it’s times like these, during the holiday periods, when parents most suffer.
These last two weeks I have forked out hundreds of pounds to put Master A into a series of holiday clubs and camps, where possible paying extra for early drops-off and late pick-ups.
For the ones that don’t provide that service I have paid additionally for a childminder to step in to plug the gaps.
It makes a mockery of earning a living because, no sooner does the monthly salary come in, it haemorrhages out on providing child care, leaving it difficult to pick up other essential costs such as mortgage or rental payments, travel and household expenditure.
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There is an increasing number of single parents working in London, joining forces and sharing the costs. Instead of relying on government support – of which there is very little – they are using their initiative, connecting via the internet, to seek support.
Flat shares are increasingly a resource for single parents.
Sites dedicated to bringing together single parents looking to house share, to cover the costs have been springing up over the last few years.
“Professional mum with young daughter seeks similar for relaxed flat-share in the Wapping area.”
Ads like these are providing a lifeline for many lone parents, allowing them to retain their professional status, earn a living, run a home, maintain friendships and share childcare duties.
Life can be hard for single parents but it looks like setting up home with someone else in the same situation could be the solution many of us are seeking.