Childcare costs rose by an average of 19% in the year to December 2013, according to a childcare website. Findababysitter.com’s annual report collected data from 231,000 nannies, childminders and other professionals.
The figures take no account of the free nursery places that the government funds. The Department for Education says childcare costs are stabilising after more than a decade of rising prices. The cost of nannies showed the biggest increase – from an average of £6.59 an hour in 2012 to £8.73 last year – a rise of 25%.
Findababysitter.com matches parents with professional childcarers. It has 300,000 members, and attracts a similar number of monthly visits. Its chief executive, Tom Harrow, says paying for childcare is becoming “incrementally harder for parents each year”. He believes the rise is a consequence of an increase in demand for childcare, while the supply is remaining broadly static. Other workers in the field say the figures may be skewed because they do not take nursery places into consideration. Three and four-year-olds are entitled to free nursery places, along with some of the most needy two-year-olds.