Parents work, children play

'Let me work and let my children play' demand stretched Aussie parents: SURVEY

Only 6.2% of Australian employers currently offer childcare as part of their employment packages pushing childcare costs to the top tier of financial worries, according to a survey of 2,675 employees by Talent2, the global leader in human resources outsourcing and recruitment.

The Rudd Government's increase in the childcare tax rebate levels from 30-50% have all but been eclipsed by childcare operators' reported decisions to raise fees by proportional amounts and consequently are expected to provide little relief to already stretched parents.

"Many parents want or need to participate meaningfully in work while raising a family," says John Banks of Talent2. "Almost half of respondents (45.1%) said that it is important to them to maintain their career path, and a further 38.6% said that they need the income."

However many Australian employees lack choices and face limited employment opportunities, with the burden often falling on mothers, who are working shorter hours than their partners to juggle the load.

"Attracting and retaining employees is a struggle for pretty much every sector of business and region of Australia," says Banks. "Employers increasingly must look to ways of meeting the 'life' needs of their employees in order to maintain a workforce."

Offering childcare as a part of an employment package is one way of making continuing work a real and practical option for parents who are struggling to find a way to remain in the workforce.

"Almost a third of respondents said they would spend longer at work if childcare was part of their package," says Banks.