Home Family & Relationship Back to School: Data Reveals School Uniforms Are Costing Parents £323 a Year Per Child

Back to School: Data Reveals School Uniforms Are Costing Parents £323 a Year Per Child

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Many costs are associated with bringing up a child, from nursery fees and nappies to new clothes and pocket money. But how much can parents in the UK expect to spend throughout their kid’s childhood?

Looking at various factors, including the cost of childcare, essential items, and recreational activities, new research from Shepherds Friendly has determined the average cost of raising children from birth through to age 18.   

The average cost of raising a child in the UK is £190,124

Considering the many factors associated with raising children, the research has revealed that the total average cost of bringing up a child in the UK is £190,124.

Starting from their very early years, the cost of children can add up. Nappies, for instance, cost a total of £825 on average over the course of two years, while part-time pre-school childcare costs around £23,002 in total from the ages of zero to four, or £44,510 in total for full-time care.

Even once kids start school, they still need to be supervised if their parents work. After-school clubs average around £1,557 per year for part-time and full-time working parents, while child care throughout the summer holidays is around £960 per year on average.

Spending on household necessities could amount to £142,507 on average over the course of a child’s life

Essential items are also very pricey, assuming a parent covers these expenses until the child is 18. The average cost of food and drink for each child is around £26 per week; the average person per family household in the UK adds up to £24,258 in total over the course of 18 years. 

Housing, fuel, and power are a little more expensive, costing an estimated £34,203 per child from zero to 18 based on data per person of the average UK family household. Clothing and footwear is around £6,864 overall, while school uniforms total around £4,205 over the course of the child’s school life. 

Considering spending on necessities only, the study reveals it could cost parents an estimated £142,507 to raise a child from birth to adulthood.

It costs an average of £208,868 to bring up a child in the UK with full-time childcare

Many parents will work full-time while raising a child and must pay for full-time childcare to make this possible. 

With guidance suggesting children shouldn’t be left supervised until 12, full-time childcare could be setting parents back £80,625 between the ages of zero and 12 (including preschool childcare, after-school care and care during the summer holidays). Meanwhile, childcare costs for part-time parents could amount to £43,135, just over half of what it costs full-time.

Considering costs for full-time childcare, the study reveals it could cost full-time working parents £208,868 to raise a child, while part-time working parents require part-time childcare £171,379 to raise a child.

Parents spend an average of £5,173 on pocket money throughout the course of a child’s life

Children receiving an average of £7 a week in pocket money between four and 17, or £370 per year, receive £5,173 throughout their childhood. Parents pay their child the most in pocket money once they reach 17 (£15 per week on average, which amounts to £755 in one year). 

The table below shows the full breakdown of spending on the metrics analysed, including necessities such as food and transport, extra extras such as pocket money, and averages for part-time and full-time childcare.

Derence Lee, Shepherds Friendly chief finance officer, says: “While there will always be significant costs associated with raising a child, you can take some simple steps to make your money go further throughout your child’s life. For example, you can shop secondhand and opt for free or low-cost activities on weekends and holidays.

“It’s also important to teach your child the benefits of saving money to help them manage their future money. For example, setting up a Junior ISA allows you to save money on behalf of your child without paying tax on any gains the savings plan makes while encouraging them to put any savings into this account. Opening a plan as soon as possible and saving small amounts into it regularly is an efficient way for them to save for the long-term, whether you want to help your child buy a car or perhaps put money towards a house deposit.”

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