Part-time childcare costs are now higher than average UK mortgage

04 March 2014

4 March 2014

Part-time childcare costs for a family of two children have overtaken the average UK mortgage bill by 4.7 per cent, according to new research from the Family and Childcare Trust.

The Family and Childcare Trust’s annual childcare costs report shows, for a family of two children, the cost for one child in part-time nursery care and one in an after school club is £7,549 a year. This compares to the average UK mortgage cost of £7,207. The cost for the same family needing full-time childcare would amount to a staggering £11,700 a year, 62 per cent higher than the average UK mortgage.

Childcare costs are also outstripping other household bills. Twenty five hours of childcare in a nursery for a child under two costs an average of £109.89 a week in Britain – twice the price of a weekly household food shop.

Since the first survey in 2002, childcare costs have risen more than inflation every year. A full-time nursery place for a child under two now costs £9,850 a year, a rise of 3.3 per cent on 2013.

Parents in Britain use more of their salary to pay for childcare - more than a quarter (26.6 per cent) – than most other European countries according to the Organisation of Economic and Cooperation and Development (OECD) data.

Anand Shukla, Chief Executive at Family and Childcare Trust said:

“When even part-time childcare costs outstrip the average mortgage for a family home – and many parents have to spend more than a quarter of their income on childcare – it’s clear that our childcare system isn’t fit for purpose. We need a childcare system that helps parents who want to work and contribute to the economy and gives children the best start in life. The Family and Childcare Trust wants to see all political parties commit to a long-term childcare strategy that delivers for parents, providers, and crucially, for children.”

Julian Foster, Managing Director at Computershare Voucher Services, who sponsor the annual childcare costs survey, said:

“The 2014 childcare costs survey shows that childcare is placing a huge financial burden on families, but these figures will not surprise parents. Computershare Voucher Services hears from many parents who have to seriously consider whether it is worth going to work because families are paying out an extraordinarily high proportion of their income on childcare. In the short-term employers can help working parents through offering childcare voucher schemes and flexible working, but long-term, the system needs to change.”

As well as a long-term vision for childcare in Britain, the Family and Childcare Trust believes that there are some immediate steps that the Government could take in order to address escalating childcare costs and make sure that work always pays:

  • Extend free early education to all two year olds.
  • Extend the pupil premium to our most disadvantaged two, three and four year olds. Make better use of school premises and children’s centres to provide high quality and flexible childcare provision.
  • Up rate Working Tax Credits support for childcare to account for cost increases since 2005.
  • In future, increase support with childcare costs in Universal Credit to a minimum of 85 per cent for all parents.
  • Effectively enforce the duty on local authorities to provide sufficient childcare.

 Download the report

See all our annual childcare costs survey


-Ends-

 

The Family and Childcare Trust’s annual costs survey will be available online from Tuesday 4 March at www.familyandchildcaretrust.org/childcare-costs-surveys

Contact: Rebecca Griffin, Family and Childcare Trust, telephone 0207 940 7533 mobile 07538 334 772, email: rebecca@familyandchildcaretrust.org

Notes to editors:

The Family and Childcare Trust’s annual childcare costs survey is the definitive report on childcare costs and sufficiency in the UK and its data are used by the Department for Education and OECD. 

A survey was sent to all local authority Family Information Services in England and Wales and Children’s Information Services in Scotland in December 2013 requesting details about the costs and availability of childcare. Responses were received from 184 local authorities representing a response rate of 89 per cent and a minimum response rate of 75 per cent in all regions and nations of the UK.

The average cost for childcare for a family of two children, with one child aged two needing 25 hours of childcare every week and one child aged five in an after-school club is £7,549 per year. The latest Living Costs and Food Survey indicates that the average UK mortgage cost is £7,207 per year. For a family with an average mortgage, childcare costs are 4.7 per cent higher than their mortgage.

The average cost for childcare for a family of two children, with one child aged two needing 42 hours of childcare every week and one child aged five in an after-school club is £11,700 per year. For a family with an average mortgage, childcare costs are 62 per cent higher than their mortgage.

Twenty five hours of childcare in a nursery for a child under two costs an average of £109.89 every in Britain. The latest Living Costs and Food Survey from the Office of National Statistics shows an average weekly expenditure of £56.80 on food and drink and £64.10 on transport.

 

Key Findings

Costs

  • The cost of sending a child under two to nursery part time (25 hours) is now £109.89 per week in Britain or £5,710 per year.
  • The cost of a full-time (42 hours per week) nursery place for a child under two is now £9,850 per year.
  • Over the last five years childcare costs for under two have risen 27 per cent – meaning parents pay £1,214 more in 2014 than they did in 2009.
    • Most parents buying full-time care spend 20-30 per cent of their gross income on childcare.
    • The average cost of an after-school club is now £48.19 per week in Britain or £1,830 per year.
    • The latest Living Costs and Food Survey from the Office for National Statistics indicates that average UK mortgage cost is £7,207 per year and an average weekly expenditure of £56.80 on food and drink and £64.10 on transport.

Sufficiency (supply)

  • Despite the legal obligation of the Childcare Act 2006 and  Scotland’s Early Years’ Framework  to ensure enough childcare, only half (49 per cent) of local authorities had enough childcare for working parents
  • Only a third (33 per cent) of local authorities had enough childcare for children aged 5-11. This has worsened in the last five years
  • Three quarters (75 per cent) of local authorities do not have enough childcare for disabled children

 

About the Family and Childcare Trust

The Family and Childcare Trust works to make the UK a better place for families. Our vision is of a society where government, business and communities do all they can to support every family to thrive. Through our research, campaigning and practical support we are creating a more family friendly UK.


About our childcare cost survey sponsors

Computershare Voucher Services (CVS) is the UK’s largest dedicated childcare voucher provider, responsible for the administration, management and development of childcare vouchers, an employee benefit available to all eligible working parents. CVS currently works with over 100,000 working parents, more than 14,000 organisations and over 87,000 carers each month.

CVS has vast experience of the childcare vouchers industry, reinforced by significant technology enhancements which benefit its diverse customer base, spanning every sector, from some of the UK’s largest corporations to SMEs.

CVS is a founding member of the Childcare Voucher Providers Association (CVPA) which represents childcare voucher providers and sets the benchmark for standards in the industry through its Code of Practice, to ensure carers, parents and employers receive the highest standard of service from childcare voucher providers.

In offering the childcare voucher services, we undertake to act in accordance with the CVPA Code of Practice which is available on the CVPA website at www.cvpa.org.uk. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of any complaint made to us as regards Computershare’s compliance with the CVPA Code of Practice, please send your complaint to: Childcare Voucher Providers Association (CVPA), 105 St Peters Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 3EJ.

For more information visit: www.computersharevoucherservices.com

Community Playthings

A sound understanding of child development underpins Community Playthings’ product design. Manufactured in the UK, furniture and equipment supports children’s creativity, learning and play in schools and nurseries across the private, voluntary and public sectors.

In collaboration with leading educators and early years consultants, Community Playthings also publishes authoritative staff training resources. The most recent releases are The irresistible classroom and A good place to be Two.

Community Playthings has been creating child-friendly environments for over 50 years. For more information, visit: www.communityplaythings.co.uk

 

 

Comments
Comments
Press team
(Wednesday, March 05, 2014 4:12 PM)
Response to chriscov comment
Thank for getting in touch. In our report we are asking for all political parties to conduct a root and branch review of the current system and commit to a long-term childcare strategy. We also recommended some immediate steps that the Government should take to reduce the costs to parents. This includes:

•Providing free early education for all two-year-olds.
•Extending the pupil premium to three and four-year olds.
•Making sure local authorities provide enough childcare for working parents.
•Increasing support with childcare costs in the new benefit system Universal Credit to a minimum of 85% for all parents.

We're happy to discuss this further - so please get in touch if you have any questions.
chriscov
(Tuesday, March 04, 2014 8:46 AM)
Part time childcare costs
OK, so well done for researching lots of figures which essentially sets out how grim a time parents are having in paying for their childcare costs. The question is - what's next?? With all of these figures, what do you suggest we, the government, parents at large do?? Its a choice - pay for childcare or don't!! I'm not saying that everyone is going to be happy about paying childcare - so don't go back to work!! Clearly it's more complex than that - but I wonder what the point of this article was about - is it merely to scaremonger, put pressure on government or generally make us feel depressed???

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