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Having a kid feels ‘like financial suicide’ as more parents take on debt to pay for childcare – report says | UK News

Having a child “feels like financial suicide” for parents, the head of a charity has said, after a study found more Britons are taking on debt to pay for childcare.

Commissioned by campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed, the survey said almost half of parents of under-fives in England say they have taken financial blows as the cost of childcare bites.

Speaking after the study was released, the charity’s founder Joeli Brearley said that as well as a cost of living crisis, “we’ve got a cost-of-working crisis that disproportionately impacts mothers”.

She said many parents who want to have more children “cannot afford to do so”, and added: “Being a parent is tough enough, but when having more children means sacrificing your income, procreation feels like financial suicide.

“If we aren’t careful, becoming a parent will be a luxury item, and the economy can’t afford to pay that price.”

The government’s Money Helper website says on average, the cost of sending a child under the age of two to nursery full time is now £269.86 a week, or £14,030 a year.

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From February 2023: Grandmum sells home to pay childcare

Around 46% of parents told the charity they have gone into debt or raided their savings to raise their children, up from 35% in last year’s survey.

Polling also found that around 70% of mothers agreed that “after paying for childcare it doesn’t make financial sense” for them to go to work. Half of the fathers surveyed felt the same.

It comes after it was announced last year that from April, eligible working parents of two-year-olds will be able to get free 15 hours of childcare support. From September, the 15 hours will be extended to parents of children aged nine months to three years.

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The government hopes that by September 2025, all eligible working parents with children aged nine months and up will be able to access 30 hours of childcare a week.

But the survey also found that 90% of parents do not believe the government’s promise that childcare costs will reduce.

Pic: iStock
Pic: iStock

Other findings included 37% of parents saying they had to use credit cards, take out a loan or borrow money from family or friends to pay for childcare.

More than a fifth of parents, 22%, also said they had to withdraw money from savings or their pension.

The study used a final sample of 5,870 respondents, which were randomly selected from a pool of 35,800 survey respondents.

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