The cost of raising a child and supporting them to the age of 21 has reached over £230,000 – making it more expensive than the average semi-detached house, according to research by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR).
The research commissioned by insurance specialist Liverpool Victoria (LV=) looked at the expenses over the first 21 years of life, from food and clothing to hobbies and education.
The cost of raising a child has now increased by more than £2,500 in the last year and more than £13,000 over the last five years. In London, the cost of raising a child is now more than £250,638.
These amounts are based on a child attending a state school. Parents who send a child to private day school can expect to spend at least £373,000 until they reach the age of 21. The cost rises to just under £500,000 if the child is attending boarding school.
Parents now have to spend more than a third (38%) of their take-home pay just to be able to afford one child. More than £70,000 will be spent on childcare and £74,000 on education-related expenses, such as uniforms, school lunches, text books and school trips.
Cost of childcare rises by 78%
The most expensive years are between the ages of one and four - the cost of childcare and babysitting in particular. These amount to nearly a third (30%) of the total cost of raising a child. Childcare costs rose by 4.3% last year making this the second biggest expense after education. The cost of childcare has risen by 78% since 2003 far outstripping the rate of inflation.
While childcare costs are rapidly adding up, the research also found that six in ten (61%) of parents ask their family or friends to help, but nearly half (47%) say people are less available to pitch in than in previous years. One in seven (15%) parents say they have to pay for a babysitter more than once a week, rising to half (52%) of those in London.
Myles Rix of LV= said: “The cost of raising a child is at an all time high and with the price tag of childcare continuing to rise, family incomes are being stretched even further.”
If you are bring up a child, there may be benefits, grants or other financial support available to you. The ‘Bringing up a child’ section of our website has information about ways you might be able to get help.
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Source: Liverpool Victoria press release: Raising a child more expensive than buying a house