‘Childcare costs more than half an average salary’

A new report by Business in the Community finds childcare for under twos costs over half of an average parent’s salary.

Close up of child's hands playing with colorful plastic bricks and red motocicle at the table. Toddler having fun and building out of bright constructor bricks. Early years childcare

 

Full-time nursery for children under the age of two in England, Scotland and Wales is costing some parents more than half of one person’s weekly take-home pay according to analysis by BITC.

In an analysis of Coram Family and Childcare survey results and ONS income data, BITC found that:

  • In England, the median weekly take-home pay of a working-age adult is £418. Nursery for a child under two years old costs £274 per week, which is 65% of one parent’s weekly median take-home pay. For a child aged between five and 11, an afterschool childminder costs £71 a week or 17% of one parent’s weekly median take-home pay.
  • In Scotland, the median weekly take-home pay of a working-age adult is also £418. However, nursery for a child under two years old costs £213, which is 51% of one parent’s weekly median take-home pay, and a childminder for a child aged between five and 11 is £73 per week, which amounts to 17% of weekly median take-home pay.
  • In Wales, the median weekly take-home pay of a working-age adult is £390. Nursery for a child under two years old costs £247 but is 63% of one parent’s weekly median take-home pay, and a childminder for a child aged between five and 11 is £73 per week or 19% of weekly median take-home pay.

BITC’s work in communities covers many areas, including understanding and addressing the barriers that are stopping people from gaining employment. BITC currently works in a number of areas including Rochdale, Bradford, Coventry, Norwich, Sheffield, Newport and Blackpool.

In these areas, the cost of childcare is equally as high. For example, the median weekly take-home pay in Rochdale is £374. For working parents in Rochdale, it costs £238 per week to send one child under two to nursery full-time, which works out as 64% of one parent’s weekly take-home pay. Across other areas, BITC says the cost to send one child under two to nursery full-time when compared to median take-home pay equates to:

  • In Bradford, the median weekly take-home pay is £386, with full-time nursery costing £242 a week or 63% of one parent’s weekly take-home pay,
  • In Coventry, the median weekly take-home pay is £412, with full-time nursery costing £267 a week or 65% of one parent’s take-home pay.
  • In Sheffield, the median weekly take-home pay is £404, with full-time nursery costing £242 a week or 60% of one parent’s weekly take-home pay.
  • In Newport, the median weekly take-home pay is £396, with full-time nursery costing £247 a week or 62% of one parent’s weekly take-home pay.
  • In Blackpool, the median weekly take-home pay is £344, with full-time nursery costing £238 a week or 69% of one parent’s weekly take-home pay.
  • In Norwich, the median weekly take-home pay is £408, with full-time nursery costing £304 a week or 74% of one parent’s weekly take-home pay.

Earlier this year, BITC research found that nearly six out of 10 women (58%) say caring responsibilities have stopped them applying for promotion or a new job and one in five (19%) have left a job because it was too hard to balance work and care. The research also found that one in three (32%) Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse people have left or considered leaving a job due to a lack of flexibility compared with one in five (21%) white people. workingmums.co.uk annual survey found that 68% say their career has stalled as a result of having children.

Katy Neep, Gender Director at Business in the Community, said: “The percentage of take-home pay spent on childcare should be a wake-up call. While most families do receive some financial support from government, everyone’s situation is different, and some parents may have to fork out half their weekly pay just so that they can go to work. Childcare costs on top of rising household bills are putting working parents, particularly women in a very difficult position. Many working women are having to decide whether working is even worth it when they look at what’s left in their bank accounts after paying for childcare.”



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