Childcare costs rose by an average of 19% in 2013, according to Findababysitter.com’s annual report, which focuses primarily on childminders, nannies and other forms of home-based childcare.
The cost of nannies rose the most, from an average of £6.59 an hour in 2012 to £8.73 last year – a rise of 25%.
The website collected data from 231,000 nannies, childminders and other professionals, however the data fails to consider the free nursery places that the government funds.
Its chief executive, Tom Harrow, says paying for childcare is becoming “incrementally harder for parents each year”.
He believes the rise is a consequence of an increase in demand for childcare, while the supply is remaining broadly static.
Liz Bayram from PACEY says she doubts overall childcare costs have risen by as much as 19%, but that cost pressures on carers, such as higher energy and food prices, are having an impact.
“Childcarers are among the poorest-paid professionals,” she says, adding that “more current government funding should be delivered directly to families rather than getting lost in the system”.
Labour has claimed that the rising cost of childcare is harming the economy, with the shadow children’s minister, Lucy Powell, stating that childcare costs “lock parents who want to get back to work out of the jobs market”.
The Department for Education has also introduced tax-free childcare, under which “all eligible families receive up to £1,200 towards each child’s childcare costs”, and is “meeting up to 70 per cent of childcare costs for low and middle-income families through tax credits.”
Is the government doing enough?
• Over half (51%) of all parents in the UK think the government is not doing enough to support them when it comes to childcare (compared to 55% last year)
• This figure rises for stay at home parents – 60% said the government isn’t doing enough
Affording to work
• Almost 1 in 4 unemployed parents in the UK (24%) would prefer to work, but they say they can’t because of high childcare costs
• 38% of parents aged 18-24 would prefer to work, but say they can’t afford the high childcare costs
• The more children an unemployed parent has, the more childcare costs act as a barrier to seeking employment (35% for 3-4 children / 23% for 2 children)
• The top 5 cities where unemployed parents are struggling to afford childcare costs most are: Birmingham (37%) Bristol (32%) Oxford (25%) London (24%) Leeds (23%)
Findababysitter.com also says the childcare market is evolving, with a big increase in demand for nanny shares. There was a 226% increase in the use of the term “nanny share” on the search function of its website last year.
Read the full report on findababysitter.com Please comment below: