The real costs of childcare

Published on 19 June 2015

Summary

This report shows that families are not just struggling to pay for childcare – many are being pushed into poverty as a result of childcare costs. The findings indicate the significance of childcare costs, and the limits of the official child poverty measure in not taking these costs into account. The analysis is based on Family Resources Survey data, and was commissioned from Loughborough University by Gingerbread and the Child Poverty Action Group.

Key findings

  • Over 130,000 children were pushed into relative poverty as a result of paying for childcare
  • The risk of child poverty in families that pay for childcare increases by a third once childcare costs are taken into account
  • The majority of children pushed into poverty by childcare costs have relatively expensive childcare (over £50 a week) – the risk of child poverty in families paying for expensive childcare triples once these costs are taken into account
  • The use of informal or free childcare increased between 2008/09 and 2012/13, suggesting formal childcare may have become prohibitively expensive for some.