Updated: Dec 18, 2019
Why is childcare so expensive? As most parents know, or quickly find out, childcare has become an enormous cost. If you're a parent to children under 5, you may already know just how expensive Nursery and Preschool can be. With two children in Nursery just three days a week, my bill racks up to a costly £1200 per month. That's includes the 30 hours deduction for my 3 year old.
Going to Nursery can now be just as expensive as going to University. Childcare prices vary significantly across Great Britain, but are lowest in Yorkshire and Humberside, where 25 hours of weekly care for a child under-two will set parents back £5,616 per year in comparison to inner London charging £9,100 per year.
Childcare costs do seem to decrease as your children get older. With school and holiday clubs costing between £2.50-£5 per hour, childcare becomes significantly more affordable for working families.
But why is UK childcare so expensive? We are extremely lucky to have fantastic childcare options in the UK and our childcare providers have extremely strict guidelines to adhere to including ratios, quality food, engaging environments and qualified staff. Of course, ensuring a childcare setting is up to scratch doesn't come cheap.
You can read more on why nursery settings charge so much here.
As your child reaches school age you can stop worrying so much about childcare costs knowing you only have a few hours before and after school to cover. Quite often schools will run very affordable before and after school clubs to support families.
The same applies to school holidays. Most areas now have access to holiday clubs during school holidays. Holiday clubs often open early and finish late to accommodate working families and are much more likely to charge a reasonable fee for a full day. A standard full day at a holiday clubs usually costs between £25 - £30 per day in the Midlands, which is a big drop compared to the £50 - £60 per day care givers charge for under 5's.
But does that mean the quality of care decreases as your child grows? Absolutely not. Again, like Nurseries school and holiday clubs also have guidelines to adhere to which ensures settings are safe, educational and engaging. Childcare settings for all ages are required to recruit fully qualified staff who hold safeguarding and first aid certificates, the setting must offer nutritional food (if applicable) and provide a safe, fun environment that encourages your child to discover and grow.
Some may argue that these are the years that matter the most, and are worth the investment. You can visit website likes www.netmums.co.uk to find local childcare providers.