How much is childcare in your council area? (images: Getty Images/Adobe/PA)

Most expensive childcare in England: 22 areas with highest prices for kids ineligible for free childcare

The government provides parents with free childcare for toddlers in England - but it can be expensive for younger children

Friday, 15th July 2022, 5:35 pm

The average price of pre-school age childcare in England rose 10% between 2018 and 2021, with the biggest rises seen in London.

According to Department for Education data, the average hourly fee for two-year-olds (the last age group before children qualify for government-subsidised childcare) across England rose from £5.01 in 2018 to £5.53 in 2021 - the last full year of data.

The most significant rises were seen in the West Midlands, where 12 out of the 14 local authority areas recorded price rises of more than 10%.

Overall, hourly rate increases were recorded in most council areas across the country.

In the South East and East of England, average prices rose in all council areas.

The South West, East Midlands, West Midlands and North East regions each only had one council area where prices either remained the same or decreased.

The largest overall percentage increase in England was recorded in Bolton, where prices soared by £2 - a 44% rise - to £6.50 an hour, one of the highest hourly costs outside of London.

Other major increases were seen in Bury in the North West and Stockton-on-Tees in the North East, where childcare costs went up by 35%.

The Department for Education data is based on an annual survey of childcare and early years providers in each of England’s local authority areas.

In this instance, these organisations have provided the average hourly fee they charge to look after two-year-olds, rounded to the closest 25p interval.

NationalWorld has analysed this government data to find out which parts of the country had the most expensive hourly prices for childcare in real-terms in 2021.

We have excluded data from all of the London boroughs because the price of childcare in the capital is typically well above how much it is in other parts of the country.

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