Northern Ireland childcare costs higher than ever

Childcare Cost Survey 2017 now open!

Employers For Childcare’s eighth annual survey expects to show Northern Ireland parents under even more financial pressure than ever before.

The annual survey of the cost of childcare is to be conducted over the next number of weeks across Northern Ireland. The charity is appealing to all parents to complete this year’s survey to share their experience of accessing childcare and the impact that rising costs have on families.

Aoife Hamilton, Policy and Information Manager, believes parents in Northern Ireland are under increased pressure to afford the costs of having their children looked after while they go to work.

“Since 2010, families have borne the brunt of cuts to a range of benefits and entitlements.  In the same period, the cost of childcare has continued to grow and the picture is bleak for thousands of families.”

In 2016, the annual survey revealed that, on average, a full-time childcare place cost £168 per week.  This marks an increase of £13 per week since the survey began in 2010.  One third of the 6,000 parents who responded reported that their childcare bill was higher than their mortgage or rent payments.   A quarter of parents indicated that they were turning to overdrafts, credit cards, loans from family or friends and even payday loans to pay their childcare bill.

In previous years, parents have highlighted the high quality of the care delivered by their childcare provider and have called on the Government to take steps to make childcare more affordable.

The short survey can be completed here and parents from across Northern Ireland are invited to participate and provide their views on using and paying for childcare. The survey results will be available to view on the Employers For Childcare website in November.

Parents struggling with the costs of childcare can speak to one of the Family Benefits Advisors at Employers For Childcare about the financial support which is best for them.  The service is completely confidential and impartial.  Call 028 9267 8200 or email