How much does childcare cost?

When deciding on the best childcare you and your family, the costs are an important deciding factor in not just what childcare you choose, but whether that means you will go back to working full or part time.

Here is a breakdown of the actual costs:

Private nursery ? average cost for private nurseries is ?142 a week. For under-twos in London, the cost is even higher, at ?197 a week.

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Nursery school ? costs from free if state run to about ?3.50 per session for a community nursery.

Pre-school/playgroup ? costs ?3-?5 per session as they are heavily subsidised by the government.

Childminder ? costs ?130 per week on average for under-twos in full-time care, but can be as high as ?350 a week in London, with some childminders charging ?7 per hour.

Nanny ? costs vary according to the way they work. Full-time live-in nannies cost ?230-?300 a week, but you pay for their food and board. Live-out nannies charge ?300-?450 a week. If you use a part-time nanny, you can expect to pay ?7-9 an hour.

Au pairs ? you pay for their board and lodging, plus ?60-75 a week pocket money. Au pairs are only allowed to work 25 hours a week by law and must have two days off per week.

Relatives/friends ? depending on who they are it could cost you nothing more than your gratitude!