Raising a child from birth to the age of 21 now totals £231,843, making it more expensive than the average semi-detached house, according to the 13th annual Cost of a Child report from LV=.
The cost of raising a child has increased by more than £2,500 in the last year, and more than £13,000 over the last five years. In London, the cost of raising a child is now £253,638.
The most expensive years are between the ages of one and four, with the cost of childcare and babysitting in particular adding to the financial strain, amounting to 30% of the total cost of raising a child. Childcare costs increased by the most over the last year (4.3%), making it the second biggest expense after education.
Separate LV= research 61% ask their friends and family to help with babysitting, but 47% say people are less available to pitch in than in previous years. 15% of parents say they have to pay for a babysitter more than once a week, rising to 52% of those in London.
The average annual cost of raising a child now takes up 38% of the average UK household’s net income and 59% of parents admit they’re struggling to manage their outgoings.
However, 49% of parents don’t have a plan in place if the main breadwinner were to lose their income due to accident or illness and LV= says existing research suggests that only 12% of parents in the UK are covered by an income protection policy.
Myles Rix, managing director of protection at LV=, said: “The cost of raising a child is at an all-time high and, with the price-tag of childcare continuing to rise, family incomes are being stretched even further.
“An unforeseen illness or accident could have a huge impact on family finances and we would urge parents to ensure they have a plan in place to guard against a sudden loss of income, for example taking out an income protection product.”