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Government 'must make childcare more affordable'

National childcare charity the Daycare Trust has said that the government must do more to help parents access affordable, flexible childcare.
The Childcare Costs Survey 2009 found that the yearly cost of a typical nursery place for a child under two is now £8,684 in England, £8,216 in Scotland and £7,592 in Wales.

A typical full-time nursery place for a child under two is now £167 per week compared with average earnings of £479 per week.

London and the South East had the highest childcare costs, which typically ranged from £173 to £226 a week.

The survey also found that childcare costs have increased by five per cent in the past 12 months, whereas inflation currently stands at 3.1 per cent.

A spokesperson for the Daycare Trust said that the expense of childcare did prevent parents from going back to work.

He also said that government needs to push tax credit take-up by parents, many of whom are unsure as to what they are entitled to.

"Overall the cost [of childcare] continues to rise. It's clear that the government need to do more to make childcare affordable for parents," the spokesperson said.

"The fact that the poorest parents still have to pay 20 per cent of their childcare does prevent people from entering work because it's still a marginal cost that they can do without when they are trying to enter work and balance the books."

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