Northern Ireland Childcare Cost Survey 2016


Rachel McMenemy, Research & Policy Officer at Employers For Childcare, talks through the key findings of the NI Childcare Cost Survey 2016.


Parents reach for Payday loans

Our seventh annual Childcare Cost Survey reveals that almost two thirds of parents struggled to meet their childcare bill either throughout the year or at some point during it. The 2016 Childcare Cost Survey is based on responses from 6,059 Northern Ireland parents. The survey seeks to track the cost of childcare in Northern Ireland and the impact rising costs have on families.

The weekly cost of full-time childcare now costs on average £168 per week, or £8,736 per year. Most worryingly many are reaching for high interest payday loans just to cover the costs of childcare.

On the brighter side, 98% of parents said they were happy with the quality of the care provided, although much more provision is needed particularly in areas including Fermanagh and Tyrone. 36% of parents said it was difficult or very difficult to access affordable childcare and 47% said it was difficult or very difficult to access flexible childcare.

The report also shows that information gaps still exist and that only 31% of parents were aware of the new Tax-Free Childcare scheme to be introduced in 2017.

Download the full report or a summary of the key findings can be found in the summary report.