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Parents struggling with childcare costs

One in eight (13%) British workers has had to opt for part-time hours to manage the cost of childcare.

A survey by comparison website MoneySuperMarket of parents of 0-14 year-olds also found that nearly two in 10 (18%) use savings to pay for daycare, and one in 10 (9%) manage the expense by using a credit card.

According to the report, parents are spending an average of £7,207 annually on childcare alone: this is more than a quarter of the average British wage of £25,780.

Working parents:

Working mums lack sufficient childcare for school summer holidays

Childcare labelled leading cause of stress while working from home

Low-paid parents earn £1.96 an hour after childcare costs

For some, however, costs are considerably higher. 

According to a report by nursery review site Day Nurseries, part-time nursery for a child under two cost on average £7,160 in 2021 (up 5.2% on 2020). 

The costs of a full time nursery place rise to over £13,700 annually, over half the average salary.

While three and four-year-olds are eligible for 570 hours of free childcare in England, equating to fifteen hours a week, 38 weeks a year (with some children eligible for 30 hours a week,) many (70% of) parents said the government isn’t doing enough to support families who are paying for childcare.

Neil Cross, life insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “The pandemic has had a profound financial impact on many households, and this is evident in some of the lengths families are going to in order to look after their little ones.

“With 70% of parents in the UK feeling the government doesn’t do enough to make childcare affordable, it’s clear that financing it has become unattainable for many."

A similar number (69%) of parents have had to rely on family and friends for childcare, to avoid the expense.

Almost half (45%) of parents say that the costs have deterred them from having another child.

Cross added: “Given the expenses involved, purchasing life insurance can be an important way to protect your family as any payout can be used to cover childcare costs, mortgage payments and other day-to-day expenses.” 

The survey was conducted in November 2021, and included responses from 1,000 parents.