One thing is certain, childcare costs are going up. Recent research by Findababysitter discovered that childcare costs have gone up by 6 per cent in the last three months. However, it really does depend on where you live in the UK as to how much this impacts on you.
Understandably, childcare costs are more expensive in the south due to a large demand, high living costs and a lack of facilities. If you live in the north then thankfully the situation is a little easier. Northern mums work one whole week less than southern mums have to before they break even on childcare costs. Living costs are generally lower in the north and it is easier to find your child a childcare place and get them on the list.
Family Investments, a leading supplier of financial solutions for the family, did some analysis into average earnings and childcare costs. The results showed mums living in the south of the UK have to work 42 hours more before covering the cost of childcare. The analysis is based on child-minder and nursery cost data from local authorities across the country as well as earnings data from the Office of National Statistics.
The general split between the north and south might not be that surprising, but what is really interesting is that there is a real difference between specific regions, with the biggest difference falling between the South East and the West Midlands. The yearly childcare costs for mums in the West Midlands is £6,086, whereas in the South East it’s £8,067.
The longest number of hours that mums work before breaking even is in the South West.
- South West
- The annual cost of childcare is £7,228 and the average female hourly earnings are £10.72. This means that mums in the South West have to work 18.6 weeks per year to meet childcare costs.
So what does the picture look like for mums in the North and West Midlands?
- North West
- The annual cost of childcare is £6,232 and the average female hourly earnings are £11.02. This means that mums in the North West have to work 15.6 weeks per year to meet childcare costs.
- North East
- The annual cost of childcare is £6,524 and the average female hourly earnings are £10.78. This means that mums in the North East have to work 16.6 weeks per year to meet childcare costs.
- West Midlands
- The annual cost of childcare is £6,086 and the average female hourly earnings are £10.97. This means that mums in the West Midlands have to work 15.2 weeks per year to meet childcare costs.
It’s frustrating that mums have to spend the first four months of the year trying to cover childcare costs before breaking even. You can get help from the government with childcare, but only when your child gets to three years of age. You can get up to 15 hours of childcare per week for free if you child is older than three years. For more information and to see a breakdown of different regions go to www.onefamily.com