Parents in London are paying out as much as 55% of their salary in childcare costs, according to new research.
Childcare costs in the capital average £1,383 a month, which is almost £600 a month more than the cost of childcare in Glasgow (where parents pay the least, with a full-time place for a child under two coming in at £799).
Other cities with eye-watering childcare costs include Bristol (where average costs tot up to £1,142) and Southampton (costs average around £1,050. That compares to £860 a month in Liverpool and £884 in Plymouth.
The research found that the high cost of looking after children means that a parent could be spending between 41% and 56% of their net wages covering childcare costs. This would leave them an average of £1117 a month to cover other essential household costs, such as mortgage or rent, council tax and household bills, groceries, transport and other expenditure associated with raising a child.
The high cost of care means that for couples who are both going out to work, more than a quarter of their joint income might need to be set aside each month for childcare, says the study by Admiral Loans. The situation is much worse for single parents, where more than half of their earnings could be lost before they’ve even begun to pay for essentials, including household bills.
In London, Cambridge, Southampton, Bristol and Newcastle, an average worker would not earn enough to cover both full-time nursery costs for one child and average mortgage payments, the research has found. This means families, particularly those with single parents, could be at risk of falling into debt if they want to continue with their careers past parenthood, or else be forced to stay at home because it is not financially viable.
For those who want to expand their family, putting two children into full-time nursery would mean a parent on an average salary would have, at best, £400 a month after paying for childcare bills, says the study.