Published on 24 Jan 2013 Sections

Cost of raising a child increases by £4,000 in one year

Childcare, education and food – the cost of raising a child to the age of 21 has now reached £222,000, according to an annual study.

The cost of raising a child is increasing.

Parents pay 58 per cent more than a decade ago, according to insurer LV=.

Education and childcare remain the biggest costs, with 76 per cent of parents reporting that they have been forced to make cutbacks to meet the financial demands of raising their offspring.

Of the three quarters of parents who are economising to cope with the increases, more than a quarter (27 per cent) say they are cutting back on essentials such as food, 68 per cent are buying cheaper goods and 56 per cent are using vouchers and discount codes.

The overall cost of raising a child is more than £4,000 up in just one year and £82,000 more than ten years ago, when the first annual Cost of a Child Report was published.

The cost of education, including uniforms, after school clubs and university costs but not private school fees, has rocketed from £32,593 to £72,832 per child in the last ten years – a 124 per cent increase.

Childcare costs have increased by 61 per cent from £39,613 in 2003 to £63,738 today.

From birth to 21, parents spend an average of £19,270 on food and £16,195 on holidays per child.

Parents reported feeling under pressure to keep up with the latest technological advances, even for children as young as three years old.

More than a quarter of parents had bought their child an electronic gadget in the last 12 months, with 16 per cent buying a laptop or tablet computer.

The average yearly amount parents spend on these gadgets for their child is £302.

Read more: Quarter of parents in debt over childcare

The survey found costs have risen in all areas of expenditure apart from clothing, which has seen a 5 per cent drop since 2003.