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South West parents face biggest rise in child-raising costs

The cost of raising a child to the age of 21 has reached £222,000 as parents pay 58% more than a decade ago, with parents in the South West seeing the biggest hike in costs, according to an annual study. Families here now pay £100,077 more per child than ten years ago.

Education and childcare remain the biggest costs, with 76% of parents reporting that they have been forced to make cuts to meet the financial demands of raising their offspring, the survey for insurer LV found.

The overall figure is more than £4,000 up on last year and £82,000 more than ten years ago, when the first annual Cost of a Child Report was published.

"The cost of raising a child continues to soar and is now at a ten-year high. Everyone wants the best for their children but the rising cost of living is pushing parents' finances to the limit.

There seems to be no sign of this trend reversing. If the costs associated with bringing up children continue to rise at the same pace, parents could face a bill of over £350,000 in ten years' time."

– Mark Jones, LV Insurance

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Vulnerable children in Wiltshire put at risk

blurred shot of children in classroom
The report found significant shortcomings in services designed to protect vulnerable children and young people in Wiltshire Credit: ITV West

Vulnerable children have been put at risk by inadequate child services in Wiltshire, according to Ofsted. The inspection in March found serious shortcomings in child protection. Of 92 cases selected at random, 17 had to be sent back for review.

Wiltshire Council HQ
Wiltshire Council has taken £500,000 from its reserves to address the problems Credit: ITV West

Wiltshire Council admits the findings were "not good enough" and has put in an extra 500 thousand pounds to address the failings. You can read the full inspection report here

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