Increasing childcare costs are hitting families across the UK

Scottish parents are among the ones paying the highest prices for their children daycare, revealed a latest survey from the Daycare Trust.

Results show that nursery prices in some areas were as high as southern England, with 25 hours of care over 50 weeks at the most expensive, costing £11,688. The increasing numbers came as a result of the childcare support cuts, introduced by the Government in April 2011.

Families across the country are feeling the pressure and some of them are facing the decision to leave their jobs in order to reduce the overall expenses on childcare. Parents are comparing the situation as having an additional mortgage.

“These above-inflation increases in the cost of childcare are more bad news for families, heaping further pressure on their stretched budgets as wages remain stagnant and less help is available through tax credits”, commented the findings Anand Shukla, the Chief Executive of Daycare Trust.

A Scottish government spokesman said: “Since 2007, we have delivered real increases in free pre-school provision, benefiting around 100,000 children each year.

“In addition, we’re providing £4.5m over the next three years to local authorities to deliver additional early learning and childcare for all looked after two-year-olds; and a further £4.5m to promote community-based solutions to family support and childcare.”

Speaking for BBC Scotland, Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People, said: “I am a mother myself and I understand, and have huge sympathy with, the difficulties that families face.

“This report is very helpful and very useful, and is excellent in contributing to the debate and my thinking about how we move this issue forward.”