Childcare: Do UK parents pay the most in the world?

The declare: The price of childcare within the UK is the best on this planet.

Actuality Test verdict: Sure, in accordance with the OECD, however solely when the price of childcare is utilized to a selected demographic – on this case, a comparatively well-off couple.

The declare that the UK has the best childcare prices on this planet was made by campaigner Joeli Brearley.

Ms Brearley was referencing a study carried out by a world financial physique, the OECD, which offers a snapshot of childcare prices amongst its 35 members.

One vital factor to notice is that although the OECD refers to the UK, its examine solely appears to be like at childcare prices in England.

That is as a result of the opposite nations have completely different childcare insurance policies and the OECD has not produced separate findings for Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire.

That apart, what does the information reveal?

The graph reveals what it will value to ship two kids (aged two and three) to a “typical” childcare centre (or nursery) for not less than 40 hours every week.

It assumes each mother and father are in full-time employment, the place one father or mother earns a median wage and the second father or mother earns 67% of common earnings.

The examine additionally takes under consideration any monetary assist offered by governments, corresponding to baby profit, to assist in the direction of childcare prices.

On this measure, the UK (England) is clearly means out in entrance with the online value of childcare figuring out at 55% of common earnings.

That is 15 share factors greater than New Zealand, the following most costly nation.


However earlier than drawing any agency conclusions, there are some vital factors to think about.

Firstly, the information must be understood within the context of who’s affected.

On this instance – which the declare relies on – we’re a comparatively well-off couple.

Dad and mom on decrease incomes in England could also be eligible for added assist, which can cut back their childcare prices.

Mike Brewer, an economics professor from the College of Essex, says that the childcare aspect of the working tax credit score (which is being changed by common credit score) is closely means-tested and “very beneficiant to low-paid households” relative to different nations.

Below the childcare aspect of common credit score, mother and father within the UK can obtain up to 85% of childcare costs.

So with that in thoughts, what occurs if the identical evaluation is carried out however this time it is utilized to a single father or mother incomes half the typical wage?

When taking this explicit snapshot, England falls from being the costliest OECD nation for childcare all the way down to eighth.

As Prof Brewer observes: “The leads to England rely closely on what kind of household you take into account, particularly in terms of their earnings, on condition that we means-test some assist.”

There are another vital caveats to think about.

For one, the examine solely appears to be like at nursery as a childcare choice and never different kinds, like childminders or nannies.

Within the UK, nurseries are typically seen as a premium product and more expensive than childminders.

Moreover, the information was compiled again in 2015 and would not replicate latest modifications in childcare prices or new authorities coverage.

Since September, most working mother and father in England have been entitled to obtain 30 hours of free childcare a week for 3 and four-year-olds.

The Department for Education says that 202,783 kids in England benefited from the coverage and that households may save £5,000 per yr on childcare prices.

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Printed at Tue, 13 Feb 2018 04:48:07 +000zero