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Childcare costs spiral for families


Research from insurance giant Aviva shows that one in ten UK families see one parents wages go entirely toward childcare and commuting costs.
About 43% of people use childcare to enable them to go back to work, but the report concluded that juggling the costs of childcare is proving frustrating for parents.

Business leaders have now called for the government to take action to combat the ongoing problem, such as extending childcare support for parents with children aged between one and two or raising the threshold for National Insurance to help get more adults back into work.

On average, earners typically bring away £243 after childcare and work costs are paid. The findings echo warnings from charity Barnardo’s, which revealed recently that many parents on minimum wage face paying more for childcare than they would receive in wages and benefits if they work, under the new Universal Credit, making it even harder for them to lift themselves out of poverty.

The average cost of childcare in the UK is £11,700 for a family with one child in full-time nursery and one in an afterschool club. That’s 62% higher than the average UK mortgage – making it the most concerning household bill for many families.

Louise Colley, protection director at Aviva, said:
“Aviva’s findings paint a picture of a nation of parents struggling to keep their heads, and careers, above water in the face of rising childcare costs. There are many benefits to going to work including, in some cases better mental health for the parent and good developmental growth for children in good childcare settings.

“Parents clearly value all of these benefits, and yet it is frustrating for them to feel that, in some cases they are working for nothing once high childcare costs are taken into account. It is vital that the government and employers understand the circumstances and needs of these parents.”

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