It’s a well known fact that childcare costs can be one of the biggest expense for parents. But did you realise that it’s something of a postcode lottery when it comes to how much you have to fork out to have your children looked after by a professional?
New data from Childcare.co.uk has revealed the UK regions that have the highest average hourly rates for childcare services and its no surprise that childcare costs in London are higher than anywhere else in the UK.
Parents living in the capital spend an average of £8.45 an hour in order for their children to be looked after, which is more than 26% higher than the national average of £6.69 an hour.
The south east is the next most expensive region in the UK for childcare, with an average hourly rate of £7.16.
On the other end of the scale the east Midlands offers the cheapest childcare, at just £6.09, well below the national average.
The data also showed that outside of London, Middlesex is the most expensive county in the UK with an average hourly rate of £9.17 and Moray in Scotland is cheapest at £5.03 per hour.
The top 15 most expensive regions for childcare in the UK:-
London – £8.45
South East – £7.16
North West – £6.69
East of England – £6.66
South West – £6.64
Yorkshire & Humber – £6.42
Wales – £6.34
West Midlands – £6.29
North East – £6.13
East Midlands – £6.09
Edinburgh & The Lothians – £6.08
Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley – £6.04
Belfast – £5.91
Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire – £5.78
Derry and Strabane – £5.53
Speaking of the findings Richard Conway, CEO and founder of Childcare.co.uk said: “I think many people assume childcare providers charge a flat rate for their services, but as our data shows it varies widely across the country!”
“Prices vary according to supply and demand, as well as other factors including house prices and employment,” he continued.
And there’s a price difference between the various types of childcare. According to the research having a nanny look after your children is the most expensive form of childcare averaging at around £9.81 an hour, while short-term babysitting is the next most expensive form of childcare at £8.32 an hour.
Childminding is the cheapest form of childcare costing an average of £4.89 an hour, while day nurseries are slightly more expensive at £5.60 an hour.
In order to gather the data, online networking platform Childcare.co.uk used internal information to analyse the prices its registered childminders, babysitters, nannies and day nurseries charge per hour across the UK.
To find out how the cost of childcare in your area compares you can type in your postcode to Childcare.co.uk’s comparison tool.
The price comparison news comes after the Government announced a new scheme to help parents cut the costs of childcare.
Childcare costs in the UK are among the most expensive in the world, but next month the government will roll out its Tax-Free Childcare scheme which aims to offer some much-needed relief to working parents struggling with childcare costs.
Under the scheme working parents of three and four year olds would be entitled to the extension of free childcare hours from the current 15 to 30 hours, later this year. And that, along with a new in-work voucher scheme, could save families up to £5,000 a year.
The new tax-free childcare will also see eligible families get 20 per cent of annual childcare costs paid for by the Government, which could see a £2,000 saving per child under 12-years-old each year.
To qualify, parents will have to work 16 or more hours a week, and each earn at least £115 a week, but not more than £100,000 each.
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