Childcare costs for under 2’s have risen by over £2,000 since 2010, report shows

UK now has the second highest costs associated with childcare among leading economies.

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According to a new report that was published by the TUC on Monday, the cost of childcare for parents who have children under the age of two has climbed by more than £2,000 annually since 2010.

According to the findings of the study, the average monthly childcare fees for children under the age of two has increased by £185, which is equivalent to a yearly increase of £2,200.

The trade union body estimated that the annual cost of nursery care for a household with a child younger than two years old was £4,992 in 2010. It has increased by 44 percent by the year 2021, reaching a total of £7,212.

The OECD reports that the United Kingdom now has the second highest costs associated with childcare among the leading economies.

And a survey of working parents who have pre-school children that was conducted by the TUC and published in March of this year found that one in three working parents spend more than one third of their salaries on childcare.

The TUC estimates that parents with children under the age of two need to work an average of 9.4 hours per week in order to afford the 25 hours of childcare that their children require at a nursery each week. This is a significant increase from the 8.7 hours per week recorded in 2010.

The labour organisation also claims that the “paltry” rate of statutory maternity pay in the United Kingdom causes mothers to feel financial pressure to return to work before they are ready, leaving them to deal with sky-high childcare costs.

Since 2010, the value of statutory maternity pay has decreased while at the same time, costs associated with childcare have skyrocketed.

In actual terms, statutory maternity pay has decreased by 3% since the Conservatives took office, despite the fact that the average cost of a nursery has gone up by 44% during the same time period.

In actual terms, the value of statutory maternity pay decreased by £5 per week between 2010 and 2021/22, bringing the total amount to £151.97 per week.

The end of statutory maternity pay occurs after 39 weeks of employment. If a mother takes the maximum amount of statutory maternity leave, which is 52 weeks, then they will not be compensated for the final 13 weeks of their leave.

The TUC is demanding that there be an immediate increase in funding for the childcare industry so that childcare workers can receive higher wages.

Additionally, the TUC is demanding that there be a long-term funding settlement so that families can have access to childcare that is both affordable and available.

The TUC argues that childcare is an essential component of the UK’s ongoing economic recovery. Investing in childcare that is of a high quality and inexpensive will not only aid working parents but would also assist the economy in recovering from the pandemic.

Additionally, the organisation cautions that the quality of childcare services will suffer if the government moves forward with its plans to lower worker ratios.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady 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.

“This is putting huge pressure on family budgets at the same time as other living costs are shooting up.

“New mums are caught in a catch 22. The UK’s miserly rate of statutory maternity pay means many are under financial pressure to return work early and are then at the mercy of sky-high childcare fees.

“We urgently need to get wages rising to stop households drowning in bills.”

On the need to invest in the childcare sector, Frances added: “The government has done little to support the childcare sector – even when nurseries were forced to close during the pandemic.

“Cutting staffing ratios is the last thing we need. It would just put more pressure on underpaid and undervalued childcare workers.

“We need a proper funding settlement for early-years childcare that delivers decent pay and conditions for the workforce and high-quality care.”

Ellen Broome, Managing Director of Coram Family and Childcare, said: “Coram Family and Childcare supports the TUC’s call to make childcare affordable and available for all families.

“Good quality, affordable childcare is key social infrastructure that both supports economic recovery and boosts children’s development while narrowing the attainment gap.

“Universal Credit should be reformed so that parents, especially mothers, are not locked out of work or left financially worse off by working.

“Families are facing ever rising childcare costs and many are under intense financial pressure.

“We want the Government to re-allocate the billions of pounds in underspend from the Tax-Free Childcare scheme to ease the burden on low-income families.”



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