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Cost of raising a child soars

Researchers say mums and dads are paying nearly £5,000 more to bring up a child than they were 12 months ago.

The overall cost of bringing up a son or daughter has reached £227,266, up from £222,458 last year, with the first year of a child's life seeing the largest increase.

According to the annual 'Cost of a Child' report from insurer LV, the cost of a child's first year has risen by 50% (£11,025 up from £7,372) since the first report in 2003. In the past 12 months it has increased by 5%, with this is largely due to the cost of childcare for children aged less than a year, rising by 7% (£,6,623 up from £6,191 in 2013). In total, parents now spend £66,113 on childcare - an increase of four percent overall. Education and childcare remain the biggest costs and 71% of parents report that they have been forced to make cuts to meet the financial demands of raising their family.

The overall cost of raising a child has increased by 62% since 2003. The report reveals the overall cost of goods and services purchased by parents has increased by 33.6% in 10 years, compared with 30.7% for the headline consumer price index meaning that prices have been rising almost ten per cent faster for parents than the general inflation rate. Single parents families have been hit even harder with the overall cost of goods increasing by 34.7% over the same period.

This comes at a time when many benefits have been put on hold and wages have not kept up with inflation. Katherine Hill, UK Director of Christian charity Care For the Family, told Premier's Des Busteed on the News Hour what parents can do to help reduce costs:

Alongside the rising cost of raising a family, the report claims the changes to Child Benefit in January 2013, which saw many families lose some or all of their child benefit, have affected many households.

One in four (27%) mums have returned to work earlier than they wanted to and close to one in five (19%) have had to work more hours than they intended to.

While one in ten (11%) parents have now chosen to have a smaller family and one in five (21%) are delaying having an additional child because mums and dads say they now can't afford it. However, with the cost of average childcare costing £405 a month across Britain, mums now say they personally need to earn an average of over £26,000 a year to make it worthwhile returning to work.

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