Childcare costs NI families £16k a year

Published Tuesday, 04 March 2014
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Research has revealed that mounting childcare costs are a major drain on local families, with the average household paying out over £16,000 a year for the service.

Childcare costs NI families £16k a year
The average family is facing mounting childcare costs. (© Getty)

Figures, produced by Employers for Childcare, show that the average family with one child in a full-time place can pay around £158 for care.

That means that a family with two children in full-time childcare can pay a staggering £16,432 per year.

Marie Marin, from charity Employers for Childcare said the figure was not surprising and families were having to balance childcare costs against those of returning to work.

She added: "Lots of people are coming to us for assistance like those already in work and perhaps trying to increase their hours, or people who are on the brink of going back to work after having had children.

"They're trying to work out whether or not it's actually affordable for them to go back to work.

"We carry out what's called better off calculations which fit with individuals and help them work out their family finances in relation to childcare."

She added: "Mothers in particular find themselves in what's called a pay neutral situation when they go back into work.

"They're just working to pay the childcare costs and to retain work to keep their careers on track.

"Single parents find it particularly difficult as well, but there is a lot of help available.

Marie said families are becoming more reliant on grandparents for their childcare provision.

"I think it's good if families are able to make those arrangements but not everyone is able to do that. They don't have that fortune," she continued.

"I think it is a very serious situation for the Northern Ireland economy.

"There are two forms of financial help available with the cost of childcare, neither of which come from the Northern Ireland block grant so any increase in either childcare vouchers or tax credits can be good for the economy."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Dave in Belfast wrote (327 days ago):
Gordon, would a fair summary of your post be that you want the government to give you money to use for supporting your children? If so, then much of what you wrote is pretty hypocritical. I say again- if you can't afford children then don't have them. That goes for everyone- working or not.
Gordon in NI wrote (328 days ago):
Dave in Belfast, it's the working public who are forced to decide between work and children, not the droves of permanently unemployed who can have as many children as they want, because those if us who have the personal responsibility to pay our own way in life foot the bill for their children. I'm tired of hearing about the "poor" people on benefits, I work around them on a daily basis and could count on one hand the number of houses I've been in that haven't got sky TV! not everyone on benefits are bad people, far from it but it's time the government rewarded the people who keep the country afloat, the working public!
Totally agree! in Bangor wrote (328 days ago):
Totally agree with Dave in Belfast.
Dave in Belfast wrote (328 days ago):
Tax breaks!?! How about this. if you can't afford children, don't have them.
john in Glenavy wrote (329 days ago):
This is serious issue that are politicians need to address urgently. We need to help with better tax breakd for people with children especially sfter so many people losted their child benefit due to another tory stelf tax these are the issues that are important to working familys not flags and parades
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