Blog

Childcare costs – the stark reality

by ParentalChoice
in Children
1 comment

The Daycare Trust and Family and Parenting Institute today published their Childcare Cost Survery for 2013. Shockingly, but unsuprising to most of us paying for childcare, it showed that nursery, childminder and after-school club services are all rising at a rate of 6 per cent which is more than double the rate of inflation. They also highlighted that in real terms a nursery place costs 77 per cent more now than it did in 2003.

They had this to say:

“Increases across the country put this everyday necessity into the luxury bracket. A place at Britain’s costliest nursery this year (£42,000) costs 25 per cent more than a place at a top public school such as Charterhouse (£30,574 a year).

The survey spotlights a particular problem with care for school-age children. Here, parents pay nearly £4,000 for two children to be looked after before and after the school day. A typical family holiday in Florida, including flights, costs under £3,000.

These rampant price rises come in a year when, in recession-hit Britain, average wages have stagnated. The position is more acute for families on lower incomes, who have already been hit by a 10 per cent drop in support for childcare through the tax credit system and face tax credit rises pegged well below inflation at 1per cent.

Finding affordable, high-quality childcare, although a necessity for most parents, has long been a problem for families in Britain. Daycare Trust and the Family and Parenting Institute’s survey shows how much worse things have become. A nursery place now costs 77 per cent more in real terms than it did in 2003, but earnings have stayed still. In 2003, average median earnings in real terms were £11.24 an hour in 2003, and in 2012 they were £11.21.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • The average nursery cost for a child under 2 has risen by 4.2 per cent to £106.38 per week for a part-time place (25 hours). A full-time place costs £11,000 for a year. Costs for over-2s have gone up even more – by 6.6 per cent to an average of £103.96 per week for a part-time place.
  • Childminder costs in Britain have increased by 5.9 per cent for a child under 2, to £98.15 and 5.2 per cent, to £96.67 for a child aged 2 and over.
  • The steepest cost hikes are seen in childcare for older children – with 15 hours a week at an after-school club costing £49.67, a rise of 9 per cent. For a family with two children, care in term time, before and after school, costs nearly £4,000 a year.
  • As well as having the fastest-rising costs, childcare around the school day is also the hardest to find, with under a third of local authorities (31per cent) reporting that they provide sufficient childcare for this group.”