Town childcare costs among highest in UK

Tots and Time Out Nursery School, Eshton Road, Eastbourne November 5th 2012 E45073N ENGSUS00120120611084451
Tots and Time Out Nursery School, Eshton Road, Eastbourne November 5th 2012 E45073N ENGSUS00120120611084451

Childcare costs in Eastbourne are among the highest in the UK.

Average prices are £133.27 per week for a part time nursery place for a child under two, childminders cost £4.60an hour with afterschool clubs setting parents back £52.03 a week and a holiday club £140.88 a week.

The figures have been released by the Family and Childcare Trust in its annual survey which highlights rising childcare costs and says the average cost of a part-time nursery place for a child under two has risen 33 per cent since 2010. It now costs more than £6,000 a year - a rise of 5 per cent in a single year.

Last year, the trust revealed many parents were spending more on childcare than their mortgage and many previous surveys have suggested costs can be too high for working to be economically viable for many parents, despite significant efforts by successive governments to provide free places for small children.

The report states, “Over the last five years, while there have been deep cuts to other public services, the coalition government has increased spending on childcare. But despite this welcome investment, this year’s survey finds childcare prices have continued to increase and the gaps in provision remain unfilled. The reality is for too many families it simply does not pay to work.”

The report says, “Successive governments have recognised the pressure that high childcare costs place on families. In 2013, the government announced increased help with childcare costs through universal credit and the new tax-free childcare scheme. But above-inflation increases in childcare prices have the potential to erode the value of this extra assistance, particularly in London and the south east where parents’ childcare costs may easily reach the £8,000 annual maximum level for help.

The trust says in Eastbourne there are 5,800 children aged 0-four, 11,000 children aged five-14 and that 27 per cent of children were living in poverty in 2013. It says 2,266 two year olds were eligible for free early education in September 2014 with a take up rate of about 66 per cent in November last year.