Plus Air New Zealand pokes fun at the Sussexes and the Met Office warns of snow
Sophie had her dream job as an editor at a publishing house, but after having her first baby she simply couldn’t make it work. “Childcare was nullifying my income, so I left the role that I had worked my backside off for 10 years to attain,” she says.
This story is painfully familiar. Every woman over 30 knows the war stories of trying to juggle work and kids, and we all have friends whose careers lie in tatters thanks to a rigid and expensive childcare system. New research carried out by Bubble, the childcare app which supports tens of thousands of working parents, shows that 67 per cent of working parents have considered leaving their jobs as they buckle under the pressure of juggling childcare with work.
Sophie eventually decided to go freelance, which gave her more flexibility but it hasn’t been easy to find flexible childcare to match. “I have only managed to sustain this new direction by using ad hoc childcare services and occasionally I resort to screentime”. Sophie identifies with the two-thirds of parents who have turned down work due to lack of childcare. The research of over 1,000 parents of under 5s showed that working parents are missing out on an average of £15,000 of annual income because they are turning down work or promotions.
Sophie explains: “We have managed, but finding and affording childcare has been a constant struggle and I cannot understand why this is an experience that is so common to so many women, women who work hard to have jobs which contribute to our society and then have kids and find themselves utterly stuck.”
Not only does the UK have amongst the most expensive childcare in the world but the support provided by the government is inadequate. Well-intentioned but overly-complicated schemes like ‘tax free childcare’ are not accessible to freelancers like Sophie.
This all means that parents around the country are creating a patchwork of childcare in order to make it work – a combination of friends and family as babysitters (47 per cent), using tablets to keep kids distracted (17 per cenr) or paying for additional support such as a babysitter (13 per cent) to try and keep on top of the work that falls outside of traditional childcare hours. It’s not surprising that one third of parents say this is taking a toll on their mental health.
The frustration felt by so many women like Sophie and myself, is that it all makes no fiscal sense. Our economy would be £8bn better off annually if we had childcare infrastructure that was fit for purpose. In December Save The Children and the Institute for Public Policy published a plan which showed how more investment in UK childcare infrastructure is easily paid for by the boost our economy would receive from more parents being able to work more.
The Government Education Commision has recently launched an enquiry to examine why childcare has become so unaffordable. The review states how vital it is that parents are able to continue their careers. But the time for platitudes is over – working parents need childcare policy reform and proper investment in the sector.
The 28-year-old has been sidelined for most of the last two years with a left knee injury.
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The British number one, who grew up in the New Zealand city, reached his first final at the same tournament four years ago and will try to go one better on Saturday against Richard Gasquet. Having needed three sets to beat Jiri Lehecka and Marcos Giron, Norrie made it past American Brooksby in two, winning 6-3 6-4. Gasquet reached the final without having to take to the court after countryman Constant Lestienne withdrew ahead of their clash.
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Hazel gloves fungus offers a taste of the mysterious delights lurking in our rainforests. Over thousands of years, our rainforests fell victim to our appetite for timber, charcoal and grazing land so they are now reduced to covering just 1% of Britain, largely confined to steep valleys and sheltered islands isolated from livestock. My guide to these hidden gems is Guy Shrubsole, author of a new book, The Lost Rainforests Of Britain.
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The US attorney general named an independent prosecutor Thursday to investigate President Joe Biden's handling of classified documents, after a furor over secret papers found at his former office exploded with the discovery of a second batch.The new find — like the original, from Biden's time as vice president — was uncovered in the garage of his home in Wilmington, Delaware, where he often spends weekends, the White House said.Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that Robert Hur, an appointee of Biden's predecessor Donald Trump, would be empowered to examine whether the cache violated any law."Under the regulations, the extraordinary circumstances here require the appointment of a special counsel," Garland, who runs the Justice Department, said.The appointment came hours after the White House acknowledged the second batch of papers but did not address their contents — supercharging a scandal over a first set found at a Washington think tank where Biden had an office.Republicans in Congress, who have been accusing the White House of a cover-up over the affair, swiftly announced their own inquiry to run independently of the criminal probe. The disclosures have prompted comparisons to the special counsel investigation of Trump's hoarding of hundreds of classified materials at his Florida beachfront home and his alleged obstruction of government efforts to get them back."I take classified documents and classified material seriously. We're cooperating fully (and) completely with the Justice Department's review," Biden told reporters. "As part of that process, my lawyers reviewed other places where documents from my time as vice president were stored, and they finished the review last night." The president said a "small number" of documents with classified markings had been found in storage areas and his library and that the Justice Department was notified immediately.Biden declined to take shouted questions from the press, but a White House lawyer said later the documents had been "inadvertently misplaced."Hur is a former assistant US attorney who worked in the DOJ from 2007 until 2014 and returned to public service under Trump as the principal associate deputy attorney general.He promised a swift investigation and pledged to be "fair, impartial and dispassionate."- 'Many questions' -The first cache of Biden documents was discovered a week before last year's midterm elections but only acknowledged by the White House on Monday, prompting accusations from Republicans that it was kept secret for party political reasons.James Comer, head of the powerful House oversight committee, said he would be leading an investigation into the "mishandling of classified documents and the Swamp's efforts to hide this information.""There are many questions about why the Biden administration kept this matter a secret from the public, who had access to the office and the residence, and what information is contained in these classified documents," he said.Trump, who is facing multiple criminal and civil probes, took to his Truth Social platform to call for an immediate end to his investigation "because I did everything right."Legal analysts have pointed to major differences between the cases, particularly over the size of the huge hoard of documents Trump had stored at his residence after leaving the White House in 2021.The FBI carted away some 11,000 papers after serving a search warrant in August, and Trump could face obstruction of justice charges after spending months resisting efforts to recover his trove.The White House, in contrast, says it has been cooperating with the National Archives and the Department of Justice.After the first batch of Biden documents was discovered at his former office at the Penn Biden Center think tank last November, lawyers turned them over to the National Archives, which handles all such materials, the White House counsel's office said.Lawyers for Biden then scoured possible locations for any other stray documents.Tempers flared during an exchange between Biden's press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and reporters seeking to know if she was aware of any discussions in the White House about delaying public disclosure of the original discovery.Jean-Pierre refused to answer, prompting a CBS News reporter to shoot back that Biden had pledged early in his presidency to acknowledge and correct mistakes."We don't need to have this kind of confrontation. Ask your question and I will answer them the best that I can," Jean-Pierre said. aue-ft/bgs
A man was arrested by police using a stinger device after 'suspected Class A drugs', several mobile phones, and a weapon was found in the car.
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ITS good news for churchgoers in Binstead as proposals to introduce double yellow lines near the village church have been dropped.
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Patients are dying and staff are broken – as workers say it doesn't get much grimmer than this.
Plus Air New Zealand pokes fun at the Sussexes and the Met Office warns of snow