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  1. ITV Report

Childcare cost in East Midlands rising faster than wages

The East Midlands has seen the second biggest increase in childcare costs compared to wage rises. Photo: ITV News.

The cost of childcare for young children has risen seven times faster than wages in the East Midlands since 2008, the second highest rise across England and Wales.

A report by the TUC Union has found that parents are now spending more of their salary looking after their children, with single parents spending more than a fifth of their wages.

A single mum or dad in the East Midlands with a young child in nursery for 40 hours a week would need to spend nearly half (45%) of their pay on childcare. Credit: ITV Central.

The analysis reveals that in the East Midlands the average wages of those with a one-year-old child rose by 9% in cash terms - although pay is still falling in real terms - between 2008 and 2016.

However, over the same period, childcare costs shot up by 48%.

48%
The amount childcare costs have risen by in the last 9 years, across the East Midlands.

Across England and Wales, the East Midlands has seen the second biggest increase in childcare costs compared to wage rises, with nursery fees rising on average 7 times more quickly than pay.

While there is government support for childcare for children aged two and older, most working parents with one-year-olds do not get any state help with childcare costs. Credit: ITV News.

Only London has seen a bigger increase, where childcare costs have gone up 7.4 times faster than wages, the average increase across England is 4 times.

While there is government support for childcare for children aged two and older, most working parents with one-year-olds do not get any state help with childcare costs.

45%
A child in nursery for 40 hours a week could cost a single parent 45% of their wage on average.

Around 950,000 working parents across the UK have a child aged one, and it's now thought the rising costs are having significant implications for family budgets.

Statistics for the East Midlands are as follows:

  • · A single parent working full-time with a one-year-old in nursery for 21 hours a week (21 hours is the median amount of childcare used per week for pre-school age children) spent 23% of their wages on childcare in 2016, up from 17% in 2008.
  • · One parent working full-time and one parent working part-time with a one-year-old in nursery for 21 hours a week spent 15% of their salary on childcare in 2016, up from 11% in 2008.
  • · Two parents working full-time with a one-year-old in nursery for 21 hours a week spent 12% of their wages on childcare in 2016, up from 8% in 2008.
The cost of childcare for young children has risen seven times faster than wages in the East Midlands since 2008, the second highest rise across England and Wales. Credit: ITV News.

The TUC say the analysis also shows pressure is even greater on parents working full-time, especially single parents.

A single mum or dad in the East Midlands with a young child in nursery for 40 hours a week would need to spend nearly half (45%) of their pay on childcare. TUC Regional Secretary Lee Barron said:

"The cost of childcare is spiralling but wages aren't keeping pace. Parents are spending more and more of their salaries on childcare, and the picture is even worse for single parents. Nearly a million working parents with one-year-old kids have eye-watering childcare bills.

There is a real gap in childcare support for one-year-olds until government assistance kicks in at age two.

Parents need subsidised, affordable childcare from as soon as maternity leave finishes to enable them to continue working, and so mums don't continue to have to make that choice between having a family and a career."

– TUC Regional Secretary Lee Barron.