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Childcare costs nearly double in a decade

Across Britain as a whole, childcare costs have almost doubled over the last decade. A nursery place for a child aged two or under is now 77 percent more expensive in real terms than it was in 2003. An after-school club is 88 percent more expensive, according to the survey.

Over the last year, London has actually seen a lower percentage increase in childcare fees than some other regions.

The report says that the East of England and the South East saw the biggest rise - with costs drawing towards those seen in London.

Regional changes in childcare costs in 12 months December 2011 to December 2012. Credit: Family and Parenting Institute and Daycare Trust
National and average changes in childcare costs in 12 months December 2011 to December 2012. Credit: Family and Parenting Institute and Daycare Trust

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Key findings of childcare costs survey

  • In London, the average cost of a nursery place for a child under two is now £5.33 an hour.
  • A parent in London buying 50 hours of childcare per week for a child under two would face an average bill of nearly £14,000.
  • Nursery care for children under two in London is 25 percent more expensive than the average across Britain.
  • The most expensive nursery in London costs £408.75 for 25 hours childcare per week. Over the year a part-time place would cost more than £21,000 and a full-time place (50 hours) would cost £42,000.

The childcare costs survey, carried out by the Familyand Parenting Institute and the Daycare Trust, asks local authorities to report the price that parents pay for different forms of childcare in their area.

Government: we are reforming childcare system

A Government spokesman said that the childcare system is undergoing reforms to allow more providers to enter the market.

He said:

"High quality providers will be able to expand and more childminders will enter the market - this will mean parents have more affordable childcare.

"Ofsted will be the only arbiter of quality, removing any council duplication. As a result more taxpayers' money will go to the frontline.

"We want to help working families with costs and accessibility, and will make an announcement soon."

Childcare costs "make it difficult to make work pay"

Anand Shukla, Chief Executive of Daycare Trust and the Family and Parenting Institute said:

"London is a city of contradictions - an economic power-house, but home to some of the poorest families in Britain. A quarter of the capitals children live in poverty, and rates of female unemployment are higher than anywhere else in the country.

"Childcare is as essential as food and heating for working families. Yet while wages stay still and childcare becomes more expensive, its increasingly difficult for parents - and mothers in particular - to make work pay.

"Not everyone is able to contemplate a private education for their child, and yet working families are being expected to pay more for their childs nursery place - an average of £14,000 per year - than the fees for a top private day school. This is happening at a time when family budgets are being squeezed to the limit by wage freezes and a drop in government help through the tax credit system."

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London's childcare costs are highest in Britain

Parents pay an average of £133.17 a week for a part-time nursery place for a child under the age of two. Credit: ITN

Childcare costs in London are the highest in Britain, according to the latest survey by the Daycare Trust and the Family and Parenting Institute.

Parents pay £133.17 for a part-time nursery place for children aged under two years old. That's 25 percent more than the national average of £106.38, and 44% more than the North West of England where costs are as low as £92.22 a week.

Average weekly childcare costs by region and nation, 2012-13 Credit: Family and Parenting Institute and Daycare Trust
National and Regional averages. Credit: Family and Parenting Institute and Daycare Trust

Nurseries "more expensive than top boarding schools"

The capital's most expensive nursery costs £42,000 a year for a full-time place. Credit: ITN

New figures from the Daycare Trust show that some parents in London are forking out more for a nursery place than if their child was attending a top public boarding school.

A full time place at the capital's costliest nursery this year will set you back £42,000 - 25% more than a place at a school like Charterhouse which charges £30,574 a year.

Charterhouse School in Surrey charges fees of £30,574 a year. Credit: Daniel Hambury/EMPICS Sport

Newham named most deprived area for quality childcare

Poorest areas have the fewest providers rated outstanding by Ofsted. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Newham's been named the most deprived area for quality childcare.

A report published by thinktank Policy Exchange claims the poorest areas have the fewest nurseries and childminders rated outstanding by Ofsted.

Tower Hamlets and Hackney were also in the bottom five.

The figures were calculated on a neighbourhood by neighbourhood level.

The YouGov poll of 1,637 people carried out for Policy Exchange also shows that people on lower incomes are less able to choose high quality childcare because of cost constraints.

Top five areas providing quality childcare.

  1. Wokingham

  2. Windsor

  3. Rutland

  4. Richmond

  5. Bracknell Forest

Bottom five areas:

  1. Newham

  2. Manchester

  3. Tower Hamlets

  4. Hackney

  5. Liverpool

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