Childcare costs hit £5k, time to panic?
I would like to think that the cost of childcare would never be a barrier to having another child. That was until I read the latest statistics about the rising cost of childcare.
Of course, it’s very unlikely I will let it have any effect on whether my wife and I decide to have another baby.
However, there is definitely something thought-provoking about seeing the stats written down. This is especially the case because my reading of the facts in the order I did today coincided with an ever increasing sense of severity and panic.
The first thing I read today was that nursery costs have risen by six per cent in the last year. Fine, I thought. There’s very little effect that’s going to have on Jack, given he starts school next year.
The next thing I read is that there is a worrying lack of childcare availability. This makes me panic slightly more. It was hard enough finding Jack a place at a childminders three years ago without worrying how we’d find a place for the next one. Additionally, this statistic chimes a little more strongly with what I’ve heard parents nearby us saying about their own plights.
The straw that broke the camel’s back, for me, was the revelation that the average annual cost of childcare for a kid under two now stands at over £5,000.
Maybe it’s just me, but that did come as quite a shock. I obviously know how much I pay the childminder, and the more I think about it the less surprising this figure sounds. But seeing it written down makes it feel a lot steeper than I’d maybe thought it was.
I’m resolutely against letting this determine my parenting choices – that would be very naïve. However, I will be making sure I’m doing more advanced preparation when it comes to finding childminder and nursery places if we do decide to have another child.
If tighter finances have done anything to my parenting thought-process, it is simply that I try to anticipate things earlier and behave more prudently. A bit like I’m doing now, before I’ve even started considering having another child.