Parents in the UK are having to give up more than half of their paycheck to cover the costs of childcare, according to research conducted by Business in the Community (BITC). In England, an adult earning median wage is paying on average 65 percent of their take-home pay for full-time nursery care for a child under the age of two. In Wales, parents are giving up to 63 percent of their wage, while in Scotland the share is slightly lower at 51 percent.
For kids aged five to eleven, it costs around £71 on average for parents in England versus £73 in Scotland and Wales. This comes out at around 17 percent of a median adult’s take-home pay in England and Scotland and 19 percent in Wales. BITC draws data from Coram Family and Childcare Survey 2022 and Office of National Statistics income data.
As wages stagnate and the cost of living increases, the high prices of childcare are putting families under increased financial pressure. According to a survey carried out by Ipsos in September on behalf of BITC, nearly one in five (19 percent) women in the UK have left a job because it was too hard to balance work and care. Meanwhile, 58 percent of women say caring responsibilities have stopped them applying for a promotion or new job.