03/09/2018 11:37 BST

Childcare Fees Have Risen Three Times Faster Than Wages Since 2008, TUC Reveals

Has this affected your family?

The cost of childcare has risen three times faster than parents’ wages since 2008, the Trades Union Congress has revealed.

Analysis shows childcare costs for families with one parent working full-time and one part-time, have rocketed by 52% per week since 2008. In the same period, wages have gone up by just 17%.

TUC found the situation was even worse for single parents. Childcare costs for single parents working full time have risen seven times faster than earnings. 

“Working parents have seen childcare fees rocket, as their wages have stagnated,” said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady. “Despite government support, families still face eye-watering nursery bills. Britain’s cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on working mums and dads.”

Overall in the past 10 years, the growth in nursery fees for families with a full-time and a part-time working parent has outstripped wages the most in the West Midlands, followed by the South East and the North East.

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TUC found fees in England are now on average:

:: £236 a week for a child under 2 in nursery, compared to £159 in 2008

:: £232 a week for a child over 2 in nursery, compared to £149 in 2008.

In their analysis, TUC found a family on average earnings (with a parent working full-time and a parent working part-time) has to pay more than £4,700 a year to cover fees.

A low-income working family (with a parent working full-time and a parent working part-time) needs to find nearly £2,000 a year.

A single parent on average earnings (working full-time) will need to pay out just over £6,000 to cover fees. And a single parent on average earnings (working part-time) has to fork out £1,900.

[READ MORE: Five Mums Discuss Different Childcare Options They Used After Returning To Work]

Commenting on the findings, Ellen Broomé, from Coram Family and Childcare, said: “Successive governments have rightfully invested in childcare but, while this investment has been welcomed, many parents remain frozen out of work because of high childcare costs. Urgent action is needed to make sure all parents are better off working after paying for childcare.”

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In response to their findings and to address this increasing pressure on working families, the TUC stated they would like to see:

:: Subsidised, affordable childcare from as soon as maternity leave finishes. 

:: More government funding for local authorities to provide nurseries and childcare.

:: A greater role for employers in funding childcare. 

:: Increase the childcare support provided by tax credits and Universal Credit. 

Has your family been affected by the rising childcare costs? If you’re happy to share your experience, email

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