Spiralling childcare costs mean that for many families “it simply does not pay to work”, a major report has warned.
It suggests that, despite heavy Government spending, childcare prices have continued to soar in recent years.
The cost of sending a toddler to nursery part-time has risen by around a third over the last five years, with parents now forced to fork out £6,000 a year on average. In general, prices have continued to increase at levels above the rate of inflation, the report reveals.
The findings are contained in the Family and Childcare Trust’s latest annual survey of childcare costs.
The survey found that across Britain, it now costs around £115.45 on average to send a child, aged under two, to nursery for 25 hours a week – a total of £6,003 per year. This is the first time that these costs have broken through this barrier, the trust said.
It is a 5.1 per cent increase on last year, the survey found.
When population distribution is taken into account, the price of a part-time nursery place for under-twos has risen by 32.8 per cent over the last Parliament.
The cost of part-time care by a childminder for a toddler is also up by 4.3 per cent on last year, an average of £104.06 per week, or £5,411 a year.
The report said: “This year’s survey finds childcare prices have continued to increase and the gaps in provision remain unfilled.
“The reality is that for too many families it simply does not pay to work.”