Cost of raising a child more expensive than buying a home
Written on 16 February 2016
The cost of raising a child is now more expensive than buying the average semi-detached house, according to new research from the insurer LV=. On average, parents spend £231,843 raising a child from birth to the age of 21 with that figure rising to £253,683 in London, says the annual Cost of a Child survey.
This means that the average annual cost of raising a child now takes up more than a third (38%) of the average UK household’s net income and six in ten parents (59%) say they’re struggling to manage with the costs.
The most expensive years for raising a child are between the ages of one and four when childcare fees can amount to nearly a third (30%) of the overall costs of bringing up a child. Childcare costs (including babysitting, nursey fees and childminder costs) have risen 4.3% over the last year so it’s little wonder six in 10 (61%) people ask friends and family to help out. But nearly half (47%) say people are less able to help out than in previous years while 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.
Extra help when raising children
There are a number of state benefits which can help with the costs of bringing up children and paying for childcare. If you’re responsible for a child under 16 or under 20 if they’re in full-time education you are entitled to Child Benefit providing you earn less than £60,000. If you’re on a low income you may be entitled to Child Tax Credit. And if you look after a disabled child you may also be entitled to the Disability Living Allowance for children as well as various other financial help from the Government.
Help with childcare costs
There are also various scheme to help with the cost of childcare and to provide early years education places so that you can work if you have young children. You can find out more about these as well as the new Tax-Free Childcare scheme being launched in early 2017 and what help might be available from your employer in our guide Paying for childcare.