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Cost of raising a child

The Cost of raising a child has increased at almost twice the rate of annual inflation over the last 12 years. Parents now spent nearly a third (29%) of their gross annual household income on raising a child.

But what are parents spending on their children?

To find out more, simply enter the age of your child or children below and we'll calculate the cost of raising them until the age of 21, using the figures from our 2015 research into the average annual cost of raising a child.

For more details on how LV= can help, take a look at our life insurance or income protection products.

Our cost of a child calculator

Guess how much it costs to raise a child from birth to 21?

That’s the question we asked to a group of parents at Lollipops play café in Bournemouth. Hear their reaction to the latest figures, their take on how they afford childcare, and the reality of whether they have anything in place to protect their essential income that pays for these rising costs.

We also interviewed our Cost of a Child spokesman, Justin Harper, who highlights some of the key findings.

Video transcript

Our 2015 Cost of a Child Report

We visited a local play cafe to talk to some parents... We asked them to guess how much is costs to raise a child from birth to 21

Person 1: It could be like £20 grand, I don’t know.

Person 2: I’d have to say about £100 grand.

Person 3: I’d say about £25 thousand pounds.

Person 4: Hundreds of thousands, probably, maybe a hundred thousand.

Person 5: I guess maybe about £150 thousand, maybe about that.

Person 3: What for one child?

Person 1: Omg.

Person 5: Wow, per child?

Justin: £230,000 is a massive figure, and as a parent myself that’s quite shocking. It’s not an amount that you can save for, so really it comes out of your day to day household income, and I’m sure it will be a great surprise and shock to many parents around the country.

How do you feel about the rising cost of childcare?

Person 1: Yeah basically it’s just too expensive to pay for childcare, especially if you’re a single parent it just doesn’t work out. I worked it out roughly; I’d be earning 50 pence more if I’d worked and paid for childcare rather than staying at home getting the chance to bring the girls up, and just, you know, go to pre school.

Person 5: When you look at how much it is say to put a child in nursery a dayI think especially new mums that may be considering going back to work, you put your child in nursery and you think about going back part time or full time. You see the percentage of your monthly wage - what’s going to childcare and what you have left and you think.. ok… I’ve hardly got anything left over and I’m not seeing my child. So I know it’s really difficult for new mums because you do want to get back part of your life and get back into the workplace. But it sometimes makes no monetary sense to go back to work at all. Or you go back and you have a tiny bit left over and you’re in this, like, limbo.

Justin: What we are seeing is that many parents are taking measures themselves to make ends meet, and those are probably threefold. The first one is that they’re actually spending less and choosing not to buy things, and that may include toys, it may include clothes. The second one is that they’re being far more thrifty. We’ve seen the rise of discount vouchers codes, and parents around the country are spending more time focusing on how they can save money and make those ends meet. Cheaper clothes, cheaper toys and cheaper food. And the third big impact I guess is that we’re looking at parents deferring planning for more children and research has shown that by 2022 more than half of the families in the UK will just have one child.

Do you have anything in place to protect your income?

Person 1: I used to have income protection when I was younger. Yeah that was a long time ago; no I don’t know what would happen.

Person 5: I presume we do, to be honest that’s not my domain! But my other half is very good at making sure we have things like that in place, so I would presume that he has taken care of that. But maybe I should check!

Justin: Our cost of a child report shows it’s never been more expensive to raise children and the costs of things such as childcare and education continue to rise. At LV= we just encourage parents to take a long hard look at their financial security, make sure they’ve got some safety nets in place, and explore the likes of income protection.

For more information visit LV.com . Many thanks to all our contributors and to Lollipops Play Cafe in Bournemouth

Cost of a child

The cost of raising a child
from birth to 21 is now
£229,251

A stack of coins

That's a 63% increase since our first report in 2003, almost twice the annual rate of inflation.


This equates to

£10,917 a year
£910 a month
£30 a day

Impact on childcare and education

A baby's bottle An educational diploma

Childcare and education are now the biggest expense for parents, accounting for 62% of the total costs of raising a child
to the age of 21.

Did you know? Parents are spending less on food, hobbies and toys for their children, but these savings are being eclipsed by huge increases in the cost of education and childcare.


Education costs have reached an all time high of £74,319

Baby playing with  building blocks

Weekly child-care bills now amount to almost 27% of the average salary

Parents with young children (aged one to four) can expect to fork out 40% of their household income to meet the cost of nursery fees.

A wallet

Impact of cost on families

Parents now spend 29% of their gross annual household income on raising a child

Lady holding money bags

44% of parents have made reductions to their routine spending over the past year in order to make ends meet

A lady holding a bay and a laptop

One-in-five mums have returned to work earlier than they intended

A man holding hands with two children

Only 37% of parents say they have life insurance in place to protect their family if they die


Cost of a child infographic

Have a look at our infographic to see the key findings of the 2015 Cost of Child research.

You can also read our Cost of a Child article for interesting stats and figures for raising a child.

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