Childcare in the UK - Statistics & Facts

Ranging from an amalgamation of workers’ rights, public sector provisions and private companies, childcare in the United Kingdom is usually undertaken by the parents of child(ren). A small minority of unfortunate children are placed in childcare or live with foster/adoptive parents. The number of children placed for adoption in England has experienced only a very slight overall increase, whereas the number of children in care in England from 1997 to 2015 has grown significantly, affecting roughly 70 thousand children in 2015.

In 2015/2016, the the largest share of the regional number of children in care in England were based in the North West of England, at 12,550. The majority of these children were most likely to have been taken into care due to abuse or neglect.

Annual figures about children taken into care in England from 2010 to 2015 highlight that in the five years leading to 2015 the rate of children taken into care increased every year, peaking between 2010 and 2011, growing by 17,930 children. Parallel to this, the number of adoptions in England have also risen, yet this proliferation hasn't advanced with equaled momentum, increasing by 2,230 instances of successful adoptions between 2011 and 2015. This figure exceeds the number of children placed for adoption in England. Similarly, the number of children looked after by foster carers in Scotland over recent years has also increased, impacting approximately 5.7 thousand children in 2015.

In 2015/2016, the number of children looked after by local authorities in Wales equaled 335 children. The average age at adoption of children in Wales was 3 years and 4 months. The weekly cost of taking care of a child that age would amount to approximately 202.67 British pounds (including childcare, rent/council tax). The weekly cost of a first child of a lone parent amounted to even more, ranging from approximately 158.03 British pounds to 308 British pounds, depending on the age of the child.

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Childcare in the United Kingdom (UK) - Important statistics

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