Parentdex - Parents' Thoughts on the UK Economy

Parentdex

For the second Parentdex, comparethemarket.com once again polled parents across the nation on their attitudes towards childcare. Quite clearly, it’s an issue that continues to raise several concerns and questions, especially as it puts an ever-increasing strain on the household budget.

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Does childcare cause you concern?

Unsurprisingly, our exclusive insight has revealed that childcare continues to be an issue for many of you. Not only do you want to ensure that your children are looked after by people you trust, but our research has also shown that many of you are increasingly worried about the impact the growing financial cost of childcare will have on your household budget.

This is perhaps understandable, especially with our research revealing that many of you parents spend an average of £85.90 a week on childcare – equating to almost £4,500 a year, and a sixth of the average salary.

Clearly this cost hasn’t gone unnoticed either. In fact, one in 10 of you stated that childcare was your biggest household expense (excluding rent or mortgage), whilst over a tenth of you also admitted you needed to borrow money from family members to pay for childcare.

Here come the Grandparents

With financial concerns so front of mind, it’s unsurprising that so many of you now turn to your own parents for childcare support. Indeed, our research found that Grandparents are now the most used form of childcare in the UK; nearly three in 10 of you who use childcare said that Grandparents were your most preferred form of babysitter – ahead of both nursery (21%) and after-school clubs (14%). 

The finance-friendly option

While using Grandparents is clearly the purse-friendly option when it comes to childcare, some of you told us that this also extends to the use of wider family members too. In fact, a third (33%) of you stated that you had saved £100 or more in childcare costs by relying on family members to look after your children – a saving of at least £1200 a year.

Alongside cost, you also told us that convenience is also a clear factor when it comes to choosing childcare. The majority of you now rely on your friends or parents of your children’s friends to pick up your children, with over four in 10 of this group admitting to using the ‘parent club’ for pick-up duties at least once a week.  

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Shakila Hashmi

Head of Money

comparethemarket.com

“For parents, childcare will always be one of the biggest concerns and one of the biggest costs too. This can be particularly challenging for families with fewer pennies to spare, and for those unable to rely on their Grandparents. 

“However, while parents are committed to paying these high costs, there are steps they can take to see where further cost savings could be made. For example, people with a balance of £2,000 on their credit card could save approximately £650 (over the term of the card) by moving to one with an interest free balance transfer which could definitely help towards those childcare costs, or getting a family holiday booked in.”  

So what about registered childcare?

Whilst the majority of you might be able to take advantage of Grandma and Granddad for babysitting or child-sitting duties, a number of you did demonstrate notable concerns towards the state of registered childcare in the UK. In fact, a quarter of you stated that you struggled to find childcare locally, whilst 4 in 10 of you agreed that your local childcare providers were underfunded.

It’s not all bad news though! Despite perceived barriers to improving, it does seem that you are largely happy with the state of childcare in the UK, so much so that two thirds of you rate your childcare provider as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. 

To find out more about the views of fellow parents on childcare, download our latest Parentdex report here.

Our First Parentdex Report

As part of the first Parentdex report, comparethemarket.com canvassed parents across the nation for our first ever Parentdex. As high inflation rates continue to dominate headlines, British parents echo their econmic concerns. Read the report here.

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