A new report has shown that since 2008, childcare costs have risen up to 7 times faster than wages, and the trend is not likely to get reversed.
The Trade Union Congress, which provided the study, has shown that even though there was an overall increase of wages during that period, that increase has to be brought down to the inflation level, which makes it of only 12 %, whereas childcare costs rose by an average of 48%. This obviously represents a huge discrepancy. Also depending on the part of England you look at, the rise was from between 4 to 7 times faster. The biggest increase is unsurprisingly to be found in London, where it reaches 7.4 times the rise of salaries.
An increasing number of families are consequently spending a high percentage of their wages to fund childcare. The families most impacted by the rise are those with children under 2 years old. There is indeed a gap in state-funded childcare, between the end of the maternity leave period and the moment when a child reaches 2 years old. This puts a lot of families in difficulty, and especially single-parent families as it is harder to make up for the rise because, there is only one salary to live on.
Another important effect of the rise is, its impact on women and on those who work in low-earning jobs. Since the cost of childcare is extremely high, most of the time it makes no financial sense for both parents to be working, because that means that they would need to pay for childcare which they can only hardly afford. This is why most of the time, women end up having to give up her jobs and loose on career opportunities, in order to take care of children too young to go to school.
The observed rise in childcare costs is far from being good news and is very likely to impact an even larger fraction of the population in the coming years.