Founder of Mumsnet website says government attitude to childcare is ‘baffling’

17:00 08 April 2013

Justine Roberts, co-founder of Mumsnet and one of the most influential mums in the country. Picture: Tom Pilston

Justine Roberts, co-founder of Mumsnet and one of the most influential mums in the country. Picture: Tom Pilston

Copyright Photo Tom Pilston, 07802 572 609 ,

The founder of Mumsnet – one of the most influential mums in the UK – has applauded the government for finally waking up to the crippling costs of childcare.

However, Justine Roberts, chief executive officer and co-founder of the online mums’ forum, questioned why the new cash boost is going to families already earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

Ms Roberts, who runs her business from Highgate Road, Kentish Town, is “dumbfounded” that the government will give high-earners tax breaks while cutting child benefit to parents on much smaller incomes.

The mother of four children aged seven to 14, said: “We have been calling for help with the ever-rising cost of childcare.

“While wages remain stagnant, childcare costs continue to rise. Almost a third of a parents’ income is going on childcare. It’s the biggest single cost after the mortgage.

“The fact that they have announced something that means £1billion is going into childcare is good.

“Many, many mothers in particular have either given up work or not accepted a job because of the costs of childcare.

“But there are quite a few concerns. The biggest single concern – or dumbfoundedness – is why they have pitched the tax relief at people who earn so much. A household could earn £300,000 a year and still get a tax break.

“That is inconsistent with other cuts, such as cuts to child benefit and to childcare tax credit.”

The Budget announced that every year working parents earning up to £150,000 each will get up to £1,200 per child under five to help pay for childcare.

This replaces the current scheme in which parents can get tax-free childcare vouchers in lieu of part of their salary – a scheme hindered by the fact that only a small proportion of employers offer the vouchers.

Ms Roberts says childcare costs a minimum of £250 a week in London – and more likely £350 a week.

According to the 2011 census, there were 7,226 women in Camden and 8,548 women in Haringey staying at home to look after the family.


Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories


The husband of West Hampstead mum Nazanin Ratcliffe has won the backing of more than 100 British politicians in calling for foreign secretary Boris Johnson to secure her release from a five-year jail sentence in Iran.


Plans to develop Hornsey Town Hall into a hotel were approved by Haringey Cabinet on Tuesday, despite an impassioned last minute plea from campaigners

Yesterday, 08:54

Cyclists say they are lucky nobody was seriously injured after tacks were discovered on the roads inside Regents Park as the row over a proposed new cycle superhighway in north west London escalates.

Yesterday, 08:18

Mental health campaigner Marjorie Wallace may have just won a Woman of the Year award, but she believes care is not much better than 30 years ago

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A colourful man-about-town has reformed his fringe political party on the back of the Brexit result - which he said is “a step in the right direction” towards abolishing the existing system

Friday, October 21, 2016

Controversial plans to build a 10-storey “big ugly block” of luxury flats in Hampstead were last night waved through by Camden Council.

Friday, October 21, 2016

A row has broken out over plans to dig out a basement car park and swimmming pool next to Hampstead Heath.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A heritage campaigner has told of his devastation after he watched raiders ransack a disused pub that he fought to preserve.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news


Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now