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Childcare costing parents up to 70 per cent of total pay with huge differences across UK


In England, Scotland and Wales, full-time nursery for children under the age of two is costing some parents more than half of one person’s weekly take-home pay.

In fact, In some areas, this figure climbs to a staggering 70 per cent of parents take-home pay.

The analysis was shared by Business in the Community, The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, using Coram Family and Childcare survey results alongside ONS income data.

England

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 per cent of one parent’s weekly median take-home pay.

Scotland

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 per cent 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 per cent of weekly median take-home pay.

Wales

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 per cent 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 per cent of weekly median take-home pay.

“The percentage of take-home pay spent on childcare should be a wake-up call,” said Katy Neep, Gender Director at Business in the Community.

“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,” she added.

“Childcare costs on top of rising household bills are putting working parents, particularly women in a very difficult position,” Neep continued.

From Rochdale to Sheffield

The study singled out a number of areas. For example, the median 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 per cent of one parent’s weekly take-home pay.

Across other areas, 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.

Childcare vs careers

Earlier this year, BITC research conducted by Ipsos, found that nearly six out of ten women (58 per cent) say caring responsibilities have stopped them applying for promotion or a new job, and one in five have left a job because it was too hard to balance work and care.

The research also found that one in three (32 per cent) 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 per cent) white people.

“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,” Neep said.

“It is a sad but startling fact that women are being priced out of employment with reports showing that the number of women not working to look after family has risen 5 per cent in the past year.”

Neep stressed this is “a crisis of access and affordability.”





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