Parents with pre-school age children spend more on childcare per month than on their mortgage or rent, Royal London research has found.
The monthly cost of full time nursery care for a child under the age of two in England is £1,065 and £1,040 a month for a two to three-year-old.
Comparatively homeowners aged 29 to 34, the typical age bracket for new parents, spend £658 a month on mortgage repayments or £833 on rent.
Becky O’Connor, personal finance specialist for Royal London, said: “The financial pressure on people with young families is immense and can last a decade. Young couples rely on two full-time salaries to meet living costs before children come along.
“Once children arrive, childcare costs have to be paid and one parent often goes down to part-time hours, reducing household income.
“As a result of this ‘concertina’ effect of higher costs and reduced income, there is very little left at the end of a typical month for savings or emergency costs.
“Paying for childcare puts parents at real risk of financial hardship.
“With housing and other living costs being high relative to income, there isn’t the breathing room for one parent to take significant time off work to look after children that there might have been decades ago.”