Social enterprise and registered charity, Employers for Childcare, has recently published its tenth Northern Ireland Childcare Survey. It has revealed that the cost of a week’s holiday childcare for school aged children has risen by 56% over the last ten years.

The survey has also emphasised the difficulties parents are experiencing in both accessing and meeting the cost of the childcare they require. Half of families have reported spending more than 20% of their income on childcare, with this figure rising to 63% for single parent families. Most shocking is that 41% of families use means other than their income to pay for childcare including savings, overdrafts, loans and credit cards. The full report is available here.

The risk is that more and more parents are going to find themselves sinking deeper into debt just to fund this essential expenditure. And if parents are using loans or credit cards to pay for childcare, it is likely that such means are being used to cover other household expenditure.

For those struggling with loan or credit card debt, it’s important to take immediate action. Those with concerns can speak to Darren Bowman or Claire Mateer at Baker Tilly Mooney Moore to see what options are available to deal with debt. Employers For Childcare also has a team of trained advisors, who can help identify the support available to individual families, whatever their situation and whether parents are in work or not. Freephone 0800 028 3008 for free, impartial and confidential advice.