To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if the Government will take steps to ensure that non-working women are able to afford to raise their children at home.
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether her Department is taking steps to encourage woman to have children; and what support the Government provides to new mothers.
The Government Equalities Office is working to address the persistent gendered barriers that women and men face at every stage of their lives. As part of our new strategy we will set out what the Government is doing to ensure that people have financial independence and resilience, as well as real choice and influence over the economic decisions in their lives. This includes the choices that women make around whether to have children, and how to balance work and care.
The Government provides a range of support for new mothers, depending on their needs and the needs of their families. These include breastfeeding, perinatal mental health, and health visitor support.
Enabling women and men to spend quality time with their child in the first year is important to support families to bond. The right to request flexible working, and the introduction of Shared Parental Leave helps parents to balance work and care between them, in a way that works for their families.
If mothers want to return to work, childcare support is available, we have doubled the childcare entitlement for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds, from 15 to 30 hours a week as well as introducing Tax-Free Childcare. This means that this year we will be spending around £6bn on childcare support, this is more than any previous government.