Monday, June 13, 2022

Child-care Costs Rise

 As people in the UK struggle with the cost of living crisis, parents face some of the highest childcare costs among leading economies, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The cost of childcare has soared over the past decade and is now more than £2,000 a year higher than it was in 2010, according to analysis from the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The TUC said its analysis showed the average annual nursery bill for a family with a child under two had increased by 44% since 2010, from £4,992 to £7,212 in 2021.

It said nursery fees for under-twos had risen by £185 a month – or £2,200 a year – since the Conservatives took office. Statutory maternity pay has fallen in value at the same time. It was worth £151.97 a week in 2021/22, £5 a week less than in 2010/11, it said.

“Childcare should be affordable for all, but parents are spending a massive chunk of their pay packets on childcare bills while their wages stagnate,” said the TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady. The TUC criticised the government’s mooted plans to cut staffing ratios. O’Grady said it was “the last thing we need”. “It would just put more pressure on underpaid and undervalued childcare workers,” she said.

A TUC poll of working parents with preschool children published in March revealed that 32% spent more than a third of their wages on childcare.

Availability is also shrinking. Only 57% of local authorities report sufficient childcare places available for children under two.

UK childcare costs soar by more than £2,000 in a decade, TUC says | Childcare | The Guardian

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