A recent study by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) has reported that working New Zealand families pay 28 per cent of their net income on childcare, whether it be kindergarten, nannies, preschool, daycare, etc. This is the fourth highest percentage in the group of 32 industrialised nations. The OECD average is 13 per cent. Only Ireland, Switzerland and the UK have higher costs (the British pay 33 per cent).
This from the Daily Mail in the UK: "The most recent figures show that in the UK, the cost of a full-time under-two's nursery place is 167 pound (NZ$366) a week - rising to as high as 375 pound (NZ$823) a week in areas like central London. This works out as more than 18,000 pound (almost NZ$40,000) a year."
To me, 28 per cent seems very high. Now, the area I live in is by no means wealthy and yes, the school my kids attend is classed as a low decile school. So perhaps I'm a little naive in believing that childcare can't possibly be costing that much. Maybe it does in the swankier suburbs?! Now that my two boys are school-age and as I work from home I don't pay anything for childcare (yeah!). Previously my boys attended the local kindergarten where the younger benefited from 20 hours ECE thereby costing us nothing and when the eldest was attending it would have been about 1.5 - 2% of our net income for fees (4 hours per day, 5 days per week).
Having family in the UK I know that the cost of childcare there is phenomenally high. Very often that means that mothers are working just to pay the childcare. Family members use a childminder (unqualified) as the cost is lower and they can be more flexible.
The fact that New Zealand has come out quite high in the standings may be an indication of the professionalism of our childcare providers, ie fully registered teachers.
Are you paying out a high amount of your net income on childcare? Do you feel that you get value for money?