Cost of childcare up by £33 a week since 2010 Labour claims figure dissuades parents from returning to work
THE cost of childcare has risen by as much as £33 a week in the West Midlands since 2010, according to new analysis by Labour.
It means costs have risen by 45 per cent, while wages have increased by just 16 per cent in the same period.
Labour said it means parents are getting less benefit from returning to work, and in some cases they find the cost of childcare is actually higher than the additional income they receive. The Government said it was cutting the cost with the introduction of 30 hours of free childcare for working parents of three and fouryear-olds. The figures show: Nursery care for children aged under two has risen from £77 to £108.52;
Nursery care for children aged two and over has risen from £73 to £106.41;
Childminding for children under two has risen from £71 to £98.72;
Childminding for children aged two and over has risen from £69 to £97.09.
The analysis was based on statistics from the Family and Childcare Trust, an independent charity, and it shows average costs per week in the West Midlands in cash terms.
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said: “The cost of childcare has skyrocketed under this Tory Government, showing they are failing to deliver affordable, sustainable childcare for families across the country. At the same time wages have stagnated and risen at half the rate of childcare costs, making it harder for working families to make ends meet.”
The Government provides 30 hours a week of free childcare for children aged three and four whose parents are in work as part of a flagship Tory scheme. Children aged two also receive 15 hours of free care if their parents receive certain lowincome benefits.
And the government is introducing a tax free childcare scheme. For eligible working families, it will offer to cover 20 per cent of childcare costs, up to a maximum value of £2,000 per child per year, for children under the age of 12 (or up to £4,000 per year for children with disabilities under the age of 17). This replaces a scheme called EmployerSupported Childcare, but Ministers say the new policy is more generous and will help more families.
In 2019/20 the Government will spend around £6 billion on childcare support, a record amount.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Our childcare offer saves eligible working families around £5,000 per child, per year.
“We are spending more on childcare than any other government – £6 billion a year by 2020. This includes an additional £1 billion a year to deliver the 30 hours commitment and to increase the funding rates for local authorities to pass on to childcare providers.”
> Nursery care for children under two has risen from £77 to £108 in the West Midlands, based on statistics from the Family and Childcare Trust