Child care 2015: Parents spending up to half their income on nursery place

Three-quarters of local authorities charge more than £100 for finding 25-hours-a-week place

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Indy Politics

The average cost of a part-time nursery place has passed £100 a week across most of England and some parents now spend half their income on childcare, new figures from councils have disclosed.

In freedom of information replies, three-quarters of local authorities said they charged more than £100 for finding a nursery place for 25 hours a week. That compares with the average weekly pay in England of £421.60.

The highest figure of up to £247.50 a week was quoted by the London borough of Richmond-upon-Thames which is equivalent to 54 per cent of average pay in the area.

The FoI replies, obtained by Labour, found parents in Bexley, London, were paying £195 for nursery places, which is 46.5 per cent of local wages. Parents in Thurrock, Essex, were paying £185, which is 47 per cent of local wages.

Alison McGovern, the shadow minister for childcare and children, said: “Families facing a cost-of-living crisis under David Cameron are coming under increasing pressure from soaring childcare costs, at the same time as falling childcare places and reduced support from this Tory-led Government.”

She said numbers of nursery places had fallen sharply in England since 2010, with the loss of 628 Sure Start Children’s Centres, at the same time that childcare costs are rocketing.

A survey last month found the average cost of placing a small child in a Scottish nursery for 25 hours was £102 a week. A survey in March produced the same figure for Wales.

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