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Cornwall's Childcare 'Crisis'

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3:41pm 10th June 2014

It is feared families in rural areas like Cornwall are paying more for childcare because the downturn has hit their support network.

Figures seen by Pirate FM show it is around £600 a year more expensive.

NFU Mutual reckons many are struggling because more relatives they would have relied on are having to work.

A single mum from south-east Cornwall has told Pirate FM if she did not get school holidays off she would not be able to work at all.

Jane Cornelius teaches in Fowey and has two sons: "When I became a single mum I went all out to get a job in a school. I am a qualified teacher anyway which helped. If I wasn't and I had to go into full time work quite frankly I don't know whether I could have done.

"Surprisingly the people at the job centre advised me 'you'd be better off not working' which is not my outlook on life, I want to be working and I want to work full time but you have to put your children first, always."

A Helston mum has also told Pirate FM she chose her nursery job so she could afford childcare.

Karensa Ross said she would struggle if she did not get a twenty-five percent discount: "I'm lucky enough to have that little bit of percentage off where I work otherwise, if I was in another job, I'd probably be earning the same amount of money but other nurseries I know are more expensive. So I'd end up paying more. I have made the right decision.

"You don't earn a lot because the majority goes into the childcare. Luckily I've got a mum who helps me out but if I didn't have her help I wouldn't be taking home a lot in my wages at all because I would be paying to put my little boy in nursery. I'd probably be better off not working."

Tim Price did the research and told Pirate FM: "Farming families are now working. Both partners are doing paid employment. Probably one on the farm and the other somewhere else, probably doing long hours. So, that means there simply isn't the family support network that we had in previous generations."

He added soaring fuel costs could also be playing a part: "People in the countryside pay 40% more for some of the basic utilities in life and of course they've got this big cost of transport to get to the shops, to get to work places and to move friends and family around."

3:41pm 10th June 2014

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