Nursery fees: 15 places with the highest childcare costs outside London, including Manchester and Bristol

Childcare costs are far higher in some parts of England than others, official figures show.

More families across England are facing “eye-watering bills” for childcare, a charity has warned.

The average price of a full-time nursery place (50 hours) a week for a child aged under two is now £273.57 in England, according to Coram Family and Childcare’s annual survey.

This is higher than in both Scotland, where the average price is £212.99, and Wales, at an average of £246.79.

Ahead of next week’s Budget, the charity is calling on the Government to reform the childcare system to ensure a place is guaranteed for every child who needs it and parents only pay what they can afford.

Megan Jarvie, head of Coram Family and Childcare, said: “The need for reform of the childcare system is urgent. As well as eye watering bills, parents are facing widening gaps in availability of the childcare they need.”

A Government spokesperson said: “We recognise that families and early years providers across the country are facing financial pressures, which is why we have spent more than £20 billion over the past five years to support families with the cost of childcare.”

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson says reforming the childcare system would be her “first priority in government” if Labour wins the next general election.

Separate figures published by the Department for Education show the average hourly cost of childcare in each local authority area of England for children aged two, before working families get 30 hours a week of free childcare once their child reaches the age of three.

Many parents receive some support through the Tax-Free Childcare or benefits system to help them pay these costs.

Jointly topping the table are the London boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea, at an average cost of £9.78 per hour. The price of childcare in the capital is typically well above the cost in other parts of the country, with the ten most expensive areas all in London.

The lowest average price is in Hull, at £4.12 per hour, less than half of the price of the most expensive areas.

Here are the local authority areas outside London with the highest average hourly cost of childcare for two-year-olds in 2022.

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