Rapid rise in childcare costs

Rising Child Care Costs

The cost of a nursery place for a child aged over two has risen twice as quickly as wages. £5,028 for parents in England. £5,178 in Scotland and £4,723 in Wales. Photograph: Enrico Strocchi

If the recession wasn’t already hard enough, parents are now worrying about rises in childcare costs. They are battling with the question, “with nursery costs so high, can I afford to go back to work?”

Mums staying at home

Mothers are now feeling that it is better to stay home with their children than pay the extravagant fees to nurseries or nannies.

According to the Day Care Trust, the most expensive nursery in the country charges £11 per hour. This works out at £28,600 a year, a figure that a lot of people get paid per annum. Even the more modest nurseries are still charging high rates. An average place in a nursery in Britain costs £5,028 a year for a child under the age of two years old. This is a 4.8% increase throughout 2010.

Anand Shukla, Chief executive of Daycare Trust, is worried that this is going to put more strains on families through this difficult economic climate, especially with the rises in VAT, fuel and food.

“When parents sit down to calculate their family finances and see childcare costs increasing far faster than their wages, it is no wonder they may think twice about the economic sense of staying in work,” he said.

Working tax credits

“These findings add to our concern about the reduction in the childcare element of Working Tax Credit, which from April will only cover up 70% of childcare costs for low income working families, rather than the current 80%.

“Once this change comes into place, some families will effectively have an extra £546 a year added to their childcare bill. Yet parents in the UK already spend an average of one third of their net income on childcare costs – more than in any other OECD country.”

Have your child care costs soared this year?

Join the discussion on child care on the forum thread Rising child care prices.

Sources:
The Telegraph Soaring nursery costs will force more mothers to stay at home 09 February 2009

Further Reading:
Daycare Trust Childcare Costs Survey

Photograph:
Enrico Strocchi  Flickr

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