The short answer is a harsh truth to face, childcare costs more per year than a mortgage.
According to new research presented by The Family and Childcare Trust, the cost for one child in a part-time nursery and a part-time after school club costs £300 above the rate of an average mortgage.
The information was collected from various authorities on child or family care across England, Scotland and Wales.
The report shows that childcare for one year equates to an overall expense of £7,549, while the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that a mortgage is £7,207.
Part-time care for children under the age of two costs approximately £110 per week which is more than double the amount spent on groceries.
Also, the priciest nursery in the UK, run in London, charges close to £500 for 25 hours per week.
The fees owed for putting a child in a full-time nursery is even more alarming at £11,700 a year.
Although salaries throughout the UK have not increased in the last 5 years, the cost of childcare has gone up over 25%.
Additional information from the OECD indicates that the only country in the world that spends more money on caring for children than the UK is Switzerland. Both countries set of one quarter of their total income to cover all expenses for their children.
The report says that the cost is causing children and their families to miss out on important opportunities. The children are denied a chance at, crucially important, early education and if they are not, their families are digging themselves further into poverty.
It continues to point out yet another unseen problem with the system, “Women fail to return to the labour market after they have children and the economy loses their skills and their taxes.”
While the government recognizes the importance of this issue, it already allocates a total of £6 billion per year. However, it is painfully obvious that not enough is being done.
The CEO of the Family and Childcare Trust, Anand Shukla says, “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.”
The report called on all politicians and to create a lasting plan to solve this growing problem and to contribute to the increasing cost of childcare to prevent families from being pushed into poverty.
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