Childcare costs rise up to seven times faster than wages

Today the BBC published an article: ‘Childcare costs rise up to seven times faster than wages’. The article highlighted recent TUC research, which showed that average costs in England for parents with a one-year-old rose 48% between 2008 and 2016, while average wages increased 12%.

Employers For Childcare is very aware of the difficulties parents face in regard to accessing affordable childcare, and the struggle of making work pay. Additionally, there are key differences in terms of levels of support for parents across the UK, for example, the Government’s new 30 hours free childcare scheme is not available in Northern Ireland.

We are currently finalising the Childcare Cost Survey 2017 report, which will highlight the cost of childcare in Northern Ireland and the impact it has on local families. The report will give a strong evidence base to inform policy makers of the key issues faced by parents and, if necessary, lobby for change to ensure that Northern Ireland has a childcare infrastructure that meets the needs of children, parents and childcare providers.

We will also, later in the year, publish the findings of our research with Childcare Providers exploring the issues and challenges that they experience.

If you have any queries about this research, or would like to discuss your views in more detail, please contact Aoife Hamilton on 028 9267 8200 or email

If you are concerned about the cost of childcare and how it impacts on your family, remember that you can call our Family Benefits Advice Service for advice and guidance on 028 9267 8200.