Working parents with children under five have seen nursery fees increase three times faster than their wages over the past decade, trades unions have revealed.
Analysis from the TUC shows that childcare costs have risen by 52% per week since 2008 for families with a full-time and a part-time working parent.
Their wages have only gone up by 17% over the same period.
The situation has been worse for lone parents, the TUC found. Childcare costs for a single parent 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.’
Fees in England are now on average £236 a week for a child under 2 in nursery, compared to £159 in 2008, and £232 a week for a child over 2 in nursery, compared to £149 in 2008.
‘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,’ said Ellen Broomé, from Coram Family and Childcare.
‘We know that high quality childcare boosts children’s outcomes, benefits the economy and allows parents to make genuine choices about work and care. But in the last year alone, childcare costs have risen by 7%.
‘Urgent action is needed to make sure all parents are better off working after paying for childcare.’