Affiliate links in this post will be clearly marked with a * and if you click one of these links I will earn a discount or receive payment.
AD. The rising cost of childcare costs is something that strikes a chord with parents all over the country. The UK is at a crisis when it comes to childcare; the cost per week of childcare is on the up, however wages are not increasing with it. This leaves parents at a crossroads, wondering how to cover the ever-increasing costs whilst keeping up with other necessary payments at the same time.
Finding childcare in the first place can be difficult task, let alone funding it. However, you’re not alone. If you’re struggling with the effects of rising childcare costs, read on to find out what you can do to ease the financial burden in the future.
How much does childcare really cost?
When thinking of ‘childcare’ most people associate it with nannies and occasional babysitting jobs, however, those with children know that this is a just a drop in the ocean concerning childcare costs.
Childcare for a 6-year old, can include holiday clubs, after-school clubs, weekend childcare and breakfast clubs. This means that for parents who are not able to stay at home, the costs can rack up very quickly.
On average, childcare costs in the school holidays alone have risen by 4% since last year, and is now £125 per week on average. This increase can cause significant issues for families.
A major study in 2015 found that many families would be better off if one parent gives up work to look after their children, due to the expense of childcare. This shocking statistic is one that most parents hope that they’ll never be faced with, however, with costs on the rise and lack of support, this may become a reality for families in the future.
What can you do?
A decrease in childcare costs is the ideal solution to the problem, however it’s difficult to predict if and when this will happen. In the meantime, it’s best to make a take a step back and look at how you can ease the burden of rising childcare costs. Here are a few suggestions.
Take advantage of government help
The government provides financial aid that can help you cut down the costs of childcare. This comes in the form of free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds, childcare vouchers, tax credits and tax-free childcare, to name a few.
Taking advantage of these schemes can help to ease the pressure when it comes to the financial costs of childcare.
There are provisions for some of the financial help available, however you can check your eligibility on the government website and see how you can apply.
See what financial help is available
It may be worth looking for additional financial help to cut down the costs. This can be in the form of asking family and friends for a short-term loan or applying for a small overdraft.
With the icount card you can easily apply for an idraft. This is an alternative overdraft facility with a limit of £250, and zero penalties for using it. This provides a bit of a safety net and can tide you over to next month if childcare costs are eating into your budget.
Share a nanny
If this makes up a significant proportion of your childcare, it may be worth seeing if you can split the costs.
There are now several sites online that allow you to find other families in your area that you can share a nanny or childminder with. This can reduce the costs of childcare dramatically as the cost is shared between the families, rather than you having to pay for care solely.