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Grandparents are the most used form of childcare in the UK

According to a new report, rising childcare costs are causing parents the most anxiety

Andrea Caamano

Grandparents are the most preferred form of childcare in the UK, ahead of nurseries and after-school clubs, a new survey by comparethemarket.com has revealed. Three in ten parents polled revealed that their own parents were their most preferred form of childcare, closely followed by nursery/pre-school (21 per cent) and after-school clubs (14 per cent). Grandparents also topped the babysitting list, with a total of 35 per cent of the parents polled revealing that they regularly use their own parents as babysitters.

For one in ten UK parents, childcare is the biggest household expense after rent and mortgage costs. Parents of children aged 13 and under spend an average of £85.90 a week on childcare – equating to almost £4,500 a year on average, a sixth of the average salary, the survey reveals.

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Compare the Market surveyed 2,000 working parents across the UK

The cost of childcare is so high that a third (33 per cent) of those parents who had relied on family members to look after their children stated that they had saved £100 or more in childcare costs per month compared to relying on a normal childminder – a saving of at least £1,200 a year.

Child Tax Credit is changing – all you need to know

Unfortunately, childcare is a cost that is only expected to grow in the coming months. Nurseries have been hit by higher business rates this year, with the average nursery facing a 15 per cent rise in bills from April 2017. This will not only increase the fees faced by parents but also the financial pressures that they already face.Out of the total 2,000 working parents that were surveyed by Compare the Market, 40 per cent said they had sacrificed buying clothes and booking holidays in order to meet the costs of childcare.

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Grandparents are the most preferred form of childcare in the UK

But the good news is that from September, the Government's new policy, which will see the provision of free childcare increase from 15 hours to 30 hours for those with children between the ages of three and four years old, will come into effect.

Parents can now register for the government's new £2,000 Tax-Free Childcare Scheme: find out how

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