Average cost of nursery place rises to £160 a week

UK families face some of the highest costs in the world for childcare

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Working families in the UK are being forced to pay more for childcare than in other countries.

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A study found that 33% of a British family’s net income goes towards the cost of childcare – higher than every other country in Europe and the rest of the Western world.

“The British system is geared towards lower income groups, with various tax credits focused at them,” said Willem Adema, one of the authors of the report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

“For these parents, childcare isn’t that much more expensive than in other countries. But the moment your earnings hit a certain level it becomes much more expensive,” added Willem.

Charities argue that childcare costs, which can reach up to £20,000 per child, are caused by Government targets to help those on lower incomes with their childcare, therefore pushing up to cost for others.

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“The crippling cost of childcare in the UK means that many parents are finding they are financially better working only part-time or not at all, and children are missing out on the proven benefits of good quality early years education,” said Kate Groucutt, from the Daycare Trust charity.

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