The latest report in our annual Cost of a Child series finds that the overall cost of a child up to age 18 (including rent and childcare) is £185,000 for lone parents (up 19% since 2012) and £151,000 for couples (up 5.5% since 2012).
Childcare costs, for those requiring childcare, now comprise nearly half of all the costs of a child.
The gap between lone parents’ actual income and what they need to meet family needs has grown sharply: lone parents working full time for the so-called national living wage ('NLW') are 21% (£80 a week) short of what they need – after paying for rent, childcare and council tax - a gap that has more than doubled from 10% since 2012. For those working half-time for the ‘NLW’, the income gap has jumped from 12% to 24% since 2012, and is now £92 a week. Even lone parents working full time on median earnings can’t reach a decent minimum living standard, falling £60 a week short: for them the shortfall has risen to 16% from 6% in 2012.