A working father’s post has sparked enormous debate on Facebook after questioning why childcare is free for people on benefits.
Ryan Cawley, from Belfast, took to a Facebook page dedicated to discussing the cost of childcare with MP Helen Jones, the House of Commons’ Petitions Committee Chair, to question why he, as a working parent, didn’t get the same support from the government.
‘I would like to know why parents on benefits (who choose not to work) are entitled to free childcare…,’ he wrote.
‘They are sitting at home so why cant they look after their own children. Myself and my wife work full time and pay over £800 per month for childcare and that is 4 days per week….’
‘On top of this we have to pay for breakfast club so we can drop our daughter off to school early so we can go to work, we pay for milk for her break and then if we want her to have school dinners we have to pay again.’
‘All while the folk sitting at home pay for none of this and get it all for free, so we usually send our daughter with a packed lunch (I can guarantee at lunch time most kids with working parents will have a packed lunch as we simply cant afford to pay for school dinners on top of everything else).’
‘If we had another child I would have to give up my job as its simply outrageous the amount we have to pay… I understand free childcare is out of the question but some help for us working folk would be greatly appreciated…’
Ryan added that he understands that there are people who cannot work, but his discussion reference people who are able to work and choose not to.
His question has sparked a huge amount of discussion around the topic, with over 3,500 likes and almost 500 comments on the post.
‘I wish this would happen,’ Carly Richards agreed. ‘I have 3 boys and need a job that fits round them as not a chance will be able to afford childcare. Hope someone takes note and listens. I had to give up my job as the £418 A WEEK was impossible to find.’
‘I think the whole point in the free childcare for people on benefits is so they can use this free time to get a job or do some training, however some individuals just decide to abuse the system,’ another user, Katy Atkinson, wrote. ‘Also my kids dinner money is £10 a week so I think that’s quite reasonable, I couldn’t give her a varied packed lunch everyday for £10 a week’.
Sarah Chumun-Lees said: ‘This is something I feel very strongly about and you have put it perfectly. I would LOVE to spend all day every day with my boy, however, mortgages have to be paid and food put on the table.’
‘So four times a week I have to PAY (only 2 however due to family helping) for someone else to spend precious time, helping to bring up MY son because we cannot afford to do anything other. And if we are honest, it is not a case of “if you cant afford it, dont have them!” … quite a few people have children with no way to pay for them.’