Families in 2022 are facing the greatest threat to their living standards in living memory. Much has been written about these pressures, but to put them into context, we need to understand what has been happening to children’s and families’ costs in recent years. The Cost of a Child reports have been produced annually for a decade, and this 2022 edition presents the latest evidence of what families need as a minimum, and how this compares to the actual incomes of low-income families.
Overall, the cost of over £150,000 for a couple and over £200,000 for a lone parent presents a daunting challenge to any family. Childcare has become an increasingly large component of this cost, for any parents who want to have the opportunity to work and who are not fortunate enough to have unpaid family care available. The persistent rise in childcare costs over the past decade means that childcare now comprises around 60 per cent of the lifetime cost of a child for a couple working full time, compared to around 40 per cent in 2012.