How much does it cost to raise a child in the UK?

They say you can’t put a price on family, but just how much does it cost to raise a child?

According to the Child Poverty Action Group, in 2021, the total cost of raising a child to the age of 18 stood at £160,692 for a couple and £193,801 for a lone parent.

Since 2012, Child Poverty Action Group has released the 'Cost of a child' report. The 2021 report shows that the total cost of raising a child is now the highest it has been since the report started[1].

In this article, we’ll take you through how much it costs to raise a child in the UK and outline some of the most essential costs.

Protect your loved ones

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How much does it cost to raise a child to 18?

In 2021, the basic cost of raising a child until the age of 18 was £76,167 for a couple and £103,100 for a single-parent family[2].

However, that’s just the basic cost. When additional costs, such as housing and childcare, are added we get the total cost of £160,692 for a couple and £193,801 for a lone parent.

But exactly what’s included in the cost of raising a child?

Average cost of raising a child 0 - 18

The cost of raising a child to the age of 18 can be broken down into a list of smaller costs, these include (but are not limited to):

  • Housing - As well as rent and mortgage payments, households in the UK spend £4.28 a day on water, electricity and gas[3]
  • Food - The average food cost for a UK household is around £5,028[4]
  • Clothing - On top of day-to-day clothing parents could be spending, on average, £337 per year on school uniform for each secondary school child and £315 per year for each primary school child[5]
  • Education - State schooling system is free but parents will need to pay out for textbooks, stationery, packed lunches, school trips, etc
  • Childcare - Childcare takes up more than half of the overall cost of raising a child
  • Hobbies - Afterschool clubs, activities, days out

With all these costs in mind it’s important to consider how your family would cope if you were no longer around.

By securing a life insurance policy, you can have your sum assured match up with all the combined costs of raising your family, to ensure there would be minimal financial disruption if you were to pass away.

For peace of mind, why not discuss your options with a member of our friendly team?

How much does childcare cost UK?

The cost of childcare has been increasing each year. For working parents it’s an essential cost that now makes up more than half of the overall cost of raising a child.

Various factors can influence the price you’ll pay for childcare, such as:

  • Where you live in the UK
  • Type of childcare
  • How many hours you need

The table below shows the average cost of both part-time and full-time childcare in 2021:

Day NurseryChildminder

Nanny

Part-time£7,160 a year£6,150 a year£250 - £400 a week
Full-time£13,700 a year£11,845 a year£400 - £650 a week

Some parents may also require additional forms of childcare.

For example, parents who work in the evening and may be unable to make school pick up times may require after school clubs (which roughly cost £62.13 per week).

As well as this, parents who are required to work during school holidays may need holiday childcare (which currently stands at £138 per week)[6].

When you add all of these costs up it’s not surprising that childcare takes up the majority of funds when raising a child.

This highlights the need for having adequate life insurance cover in place.

If the worst were to happen, a life insurance policy could cover all necessary childcare costs.

Our friendly team have been helping families for over 10 years, so why not get in touch to find out about your options?

How much does it cost to raise a child in the first year?

It’s estimated that the most expensive years of raising a child are the first few years.

It can be possible to spend as little as £500 up to £6,000 in the first month alone[7].

This is because most first time mums and dads will need to splash out on some large expenses, including:

  • Nursery furniture
  • Car seat
  • Pram
  • Safety gates
  • Baby monitors
  • Carriers
  • Highchair


As well as smaller essentials, such as:

  • Bottles
  • Nappies
  • Wipes
  • Dummies
  • Bibs

You can help to save money on these costs by purchasing some items second hand or by using hand-me-downs from family and friends.

Those who have already had one child are likely to be able to re-use certain items - allowing them to save money.

How much does having a baby cost?

Due to having the NHS in the UK, there aren’t many costs involved with having a baby.

Most antenatal, birth and postnatal care can be done free of charge.

However, the above section details other costs that may be associated with having a baby that you’ll need to consider and factor into your budget.

You may also need to pay for any private scans or appointments that are done outside of the NHS.

Do you get money from the government for having a baby?

It may be possible to get money from the government if you’re having a baby.

The Sure Start Maternity Grant offers a one-off £500 payment to help towards the cost of having a baby.

To qualify for this grant, you’ll need to be:

  • Expecting your first child or expecting a multiple birth (such as twins) and you already have children
  • You and/or your partner already receive certain benefits (Pension Credit, Income Support, Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit)

The grant must be claimed within 11 weeks of the baby’s due date or within 6 months after the baby’s birth.

If you don’t fit into this criteria, you won’t be eligible for this grant.

However, the government offer many benefits that can be claimed by parents to help with the cost of raising a child.

(This information is correct as of 28/03/2022. For further information you can visit the government website).

What financial benefits can I get for having a baby?

There are certain benefits you can claim from the Government to help with the cost of raising a child. These include:

Child benefit

Child benefit is a payment made to parents which can help towards family budgeting.

You can claim child benefit for each of your children, regardless of whether you’re in work or not.

Each child must be under 16 or under 20 if they’re in full-time education.

Payments are tax-free as long as neither parent/guardian earns over £50,000 a year.

You’re still able to receive this benefit if your salary is over £50,000 but you’ll be required to pay some back in your income tax.

As of 2021/2022, claimants are eligible to receive £21.15 a week for their first child and £14.00 a week for each additional child.


Child tax credit

Child Tax Credit is a type of benefit used to help low-income households with the cost of raising a child.

However, it’s one of the six benefits being replaced by Universal Credit. This means that new applicants will need to apply for the child element of Universal Credit, rather than Child Tax Credit.

This can allow you to claim back up to 85% of eligible childcare costs up to a maximum of £646.35 for one child and £1,108.04 for two or more children.

If you’re already claiming Child Tax Credit, you’ll need to change to Universal credit before March 2023.

If you or your partner are receiving the Severe Disability Premium you can still make a new claim for Child Tax Credit.


Tax-Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare is a government scheme that will help working parents with the cost of childcare.

It can help to pay for registered childminders, nurseries and nannies, as well as registered afterschool clubs, playschemes and holiday schemes, registered schools and home care workers working for a registered home care agency.

To be eligible, parents must be working and have children under 12 (or under 17 if your child has a disability), earn at least £139.52 per week, have no more than £100,000 adjusted net income (per year, per parent), be employed or self-employed.

You can apply online by setting up a childcare account on gov.co.uk.

For each £8 you pay into your childcare account, the government will pay in £2 up to a maximum of £2,000 per child or £4,000 per disabled child each year.

You can’t use Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as Universal Credit.

Saving for a baby UK

Having a baby is a life changing event and it’s one that you’ll need to plan carefully for.

It’s often an occasion that sparks the need to take out life insurance.

As well as getting your finances in order for when the baby arrives, it’s also important to plan financially for when you’re no longer around.

If you were to pass away could your partner afford to cover all the costs of raising your child as a one parent household?

By taking out a life insurance policy you can help to secure the financial future of your loved ones and take care of all the associated costs of raising a child.

A life insurance pay out can also help to:

Why not get in touch with our award-winning team? We can help you through the whole process, from talking you through your options to helping with the application.

Average number of children per family UK

In 2020, there were 19.4 million families in the UK - an increase of 1.4% from the previous year and a 7.4% increase throughout the decade from 2021[8].

In addition to this, data from Statista shows that the most common family consists of 2 children.

With this in mind, it’s likely that the cost of raising a family in the UK would be even greater than the costs shown in this article - which show the cost of raising one child.

This makes protecting the financial future of your loved ones even more important.

Get in touch to discuss our family life insurance policy options.

Protect the financial future of your children with life insurance

Hopefully this article has given you an insight as to how much it costs to raise a child in the UK.

You can protect the financial future of your loved ones with a life insurance policy.

A pay out can help to cover all the associated costs of raising a child if you were to pass away.

Our award-winning team has been helping families for over 10 years and can guide you through the entire application.

The best part is cover arranged through us starts from 20p-a-day and our quotes are fee-free.

Why not get in touch to compare your no-obligation quotes today?

Sources:

[1] https://cpag.org.uk/policy-and-campaigns/report/cost-child-2021

[2] https://cpag.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/policypost/Cost_of_a_child_2021.pdf

[3] https://themoneycharity.org.uk/money-statistics/

[4] https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/average-uk-household-cost-food

[5] https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/information/professionals/resources/the-wrong-blazer

[6] https://www.daynurseries.co.uk/advice/childcare-costs-how-much-do-you-pay-in-the-uk

[7] https://www.thetimes.co.uk/money-mentor/article/starting-family-baby-costs/

[8] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/families/bulletins/familiesandhouseholds/2020

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