Part-time childcare costs more than the average mortgage


A study by the Family and Childcare Trust (formerly the Daycare Trust) shows, for the first time, that part-time childcare is costing most families more than their mortgage or monthly food bill.

The figure is based on the amount a family with two children; one in a nursery part-time and one in after-school care. The average annual cost of this arrangement is £7549 – compared to the average mortgage payment of £7207 per year. This is twice the amount spent on food.

The report found that childcare costs have risen 27% in the last five years, with the average family now paying £1214 more.

Finding that childcare costs are rising is not new, but this report is the first to show that even part-time childcare is more of a burden to families than food and housing.

The report (available here) also looked into the supply of childcare and found that only 49% of authorities had enough childcare for working parents. The figure was lower for those with children aged 5-11, with only 33% of authorities providing sufficient care; even less than five years ago. 75% do not have enough care for disabled children.

Free early years places for two-year-olds was another area highlighted as a concern. 30,000 (26%) of the poorest children in this age bracket are missing out on free nursery education, with big differences between local authorities in the number of placements. London was mentioned as a particularly poor area for this.

 What can the government do to reduce costs without putting any more pressure on childcare providers? Share your thoughts below.


4 thoughts on “Part-time childcare costs more than the average mortgage

  • March 7, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    I’m a provider in the lancashire area and we charge £3 an hour ….
    I just want to be able to offer affordable Childcare to parents ….
    I am in my first year and yes my wage bills are very high but my staff are on hourly so if we’re quiet they go home
    We have really struggled but are quite busy and on paper I’ll be able to take a wage soon but I’m not out to make a fortune so can charge this amount
    Happy days

  • March 5, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    As a provider I am constantly reading various reports but there does not seem to be any reports by actual providers! The true cost of childcare is so much more. We charge £4.20 an hour. Out of that we provide mid morning and mid afternoon snacks, lunch with pudding and a tea, drinks throughout the day, nappies/wipes, a variety of art and craft, good quality and varied toys for ages 3 months to 5 years, good quality facilities which need to be cleaned, electricity, water and heating and, of course, fully trained paid staff – all of which we are obliged to do in order to be able to receive EYEE and a good/outstanding Ofsted inspection. We work long hours and the job can be as stressful as it is rewarding. Whilst childcare may seem a huge cost, it is in my opinion kept as low as possible but in reality childcare costs providers so much more.

  • March 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    The cost of childcare for many patents is subsidised by the Government via tax credits, so these figures arnt a true reflection of costs to many families. As a provider i dont see how i can make my fees cheaper with the minimum wage going up so fast year on year, which affects my pay of all staff wages.

    When doing these surveys that should ask parents how much they actually pay and how much is supervised. Good quality childcare is expensive to provide, as is quality staff.

    • March 6, 2014 at 8:51 am


      As a provider like yourself, the running cost are going up so fast which is affecting the viability of running a childcare provision.
      Each month we have over a £1000.00 business tax as well has £1000.00 employers NI for employing our staff. Add this to food cost and staff wage increase, where and how do we meet these extra cost! like any other public service provider it going to affect the cost of the delivery of that service we offer or quality will go down.

      Minimum wage going up will only add more pressure to the above cost.

      Last year we had a Ofsted inspection due to a complaint (which was found to be unsupported)and was down graded from Good with nine areas of outstanding to satisfactory, our parent complained to Ofsted about the conduct of the inspector, stating she should be working for MI5 not Ofsted has an interrogation Officer. This matter was washed under the table by Ofsted and we and our parent received no support from our local authority in the matter.

      We were down graded due to the fact we had just enrolled 79 new children at the beginning of September term and had not yet had learning journals for these new children. Inspection took place on the 23rd September 🙁 The inspector did not understand that to us the main concern was to ensure that all these children settled in first which is meeting their individual needs through Personal, Social and Emotional development. there will be no development from any child until they feel secure within their environment.

      So where do we go from here, yes like all setting there is always room for improvements in what and how we deliver our services. But this too take time and money, and the single formula funding scheme is reducing the amount of money Satisfactory setting are getting and increasing the money good or outstanding settings are getting. so again where is the support for setting that need to improve?

      Rant over 🙂


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