Rising childcare costs are causing parents concern

PARENTS in Worthing have expressed concern over the increasing cost of childcare.

Terry Withers, 50, Buckingham Place, Rustington, with his daughter Grace
Terry Withers, 50, Buckingham Place, Rustington, with his daughter Grace

The Family and Childcare Trust’s 14th annual childcare cost survey has revealed that in the South East, the weekly cost of a part-time nursery place for a child under two had risen by nearly 33 per cent to £133.27 since 2010 – breaking the £6,000­-a­-year barrier.

The data was collected from local authority family information services. It also revealed that across the Worthing West and East Worthing and Shoreham constituencies, there are 10,900 children aged four and under and that 19 per cent of children are classed as living in poverty.

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Louise Sneddon, 27, of Clarendon Road, Worthing, is currently on maternity leave with her second child.

She said: “I work 12-and-a-half hour days so if I put my second child in childcare from 7.30am to when my partner finishes work at 5.30pm to 6pm it’s going to be my whole day’s wage and then I would have to pay for someone to collect my other child from school as well. It doesn’t really seem worth it.”

In the South East, the average price of holiday club care is £140.88 per week, making it the most expensive region in the UK for holiday childcare. Childminders were found to charge an average of £4.60 per hour.

Sarah Moss, 43, of Cobden Road, Worthing, said the rising costs did not help mums who wanted to go to work.

“The rising cost is a concern because we are all up against it and if you want to work you need childcare.”

Terry Withers, 50, of Buckingham Place, Rustington, said: “Fortunately, for us it didn’t feel like a struggle when our daughter was in nursery because we didn’t have to put her in nursery all week. If both of us had worked full-time, then it would have been.”

Helena Bachledovo, 24, of Bedford Road, Worthing, said: “I just started childcare for my oldest who is four. He’s only been there three times at the moment but it does worry me because it is expensive.”

The trust wants to extend free early education for all two-year-­olds.