How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Child?

father and child
| 6 min read Crowdfunding

It should come as no surprise to parents that raising a child in the UK is expensive. 

According to the Child Poverty Action group, in 2022, the additional basic cost of a child, from birth to age 18, was £69,621 for a couple family and £113,102 for a lone-parent family.

Whether you’re a family looking to cover the cost of food, childcare, or you’re a single parent seeking basic child care assistance, finding financial relief can be overwhelming. So how much does it cost to raise a child, exactly? Below, you’ll find information on the average cost to raise a child, plus ideas on how to get financial assistance.

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1. Housing costs for children

Quality housing is vital to a child’s well-being, but the price of housing—especially urban housing—has dramatically increased, with home prices rising faster than income wages for the last 30 years.

How much does it cost to raise a child and keep them under a nice roof?

  • According to the ONS, average UK house prices increased by 1.9% in the 12 months to May 2023 (provisional estimate), down from a revised 3.2% in April 2023.
  • The average UK house price was £286,000 in May 2023, which is £6,000 higher than 12 months prior, but £7,000 below the peak in September 2022
  • The ONS also found the situation to be difficult for renters. Annual private rental prices increased by 4.5% in England, 4.2% in Wales and 4.9% in Scotland in the 12 months to February 2023.

ity housing is vital to a child’s well-being, but the price of housing—especially urban housing—has dramatically increased, with home prices rising faster than income wages for the last 30 years.

How much does it cost to raise a child and keep them under a nice roof?

  • A 2018 CBS News article found that median prices for single-family homes rose 6% from the previous year. 
  • A 2019 survey by Freddie Mac revealed that 82% of renters now view renting as the more affordable option to homeownership.
  • The same survey found that 51% of Americans have made spending or housing changes to afford either their rent payments or mortgage payments. 

2. Healthcare costs for children

From buying products to support your baby while pregnant, to their arrival – healthcare costs for children can easily mount up. 

Parents must pay costs for basic items to look after their babies with and to make sure everything is safe for them around their home. 

As parents face further costs, the ONS has reported the birth rate number in the UK to be falling. 

There were 624,828 live births in England and Wales in 2021, an increase of 1.8% from 613,936 in 2020, but still below the 2019 figure (640,370); 2021 remains in line with the long-term trend of decreasing live births seen before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

3. Education costs for children

Another challenge parents in the UK face is the cost of education. 

Privately educating your child can range in price, but will set parents back by thousands of pounds. 

And if your child does not go down the private route, education costs can still quickly stack up. 

From school trips, to uniform costs and school supplies parents can find themselves spending money all throughout the school year. 

Education costs may include supplies, uniforms, exam fees, field trips, tutors, special education services, and more. 

So how much does a child cost in terms of education? Here are some statistics:

  • According to the IFS, in 2022–23, average private school fees across the UK were £15,200 in today’s prices (net of bursaries and scholarships). This is £7,200 or nearly 90% higher than state school spending per pupil, which was £8,000 in 2022–23 (including day-to-day and capital spending). The gap between private school fees and state school spending per pupil has more than doubled since 2010, when the gap was about 40% or £3,500.
  • The share of pupils across the UK in private schools has remained around 6–7% for at least the last 20 years. 
  • On average, 68% of parents in the UK worry about paying for back-to-school clothes and other items
  • The British Council have also outlined how those opting for higher education are affected. International undergraduate tuition fees vary from £11,400 – £38,000. The average cost is estimated to be around £22,200 per year

4. Miscellaneous living expenses for children

So aside from healthcare, housing, and education, how much does it cost to raise a child to 18? Planning a budget for each and every expense that comes along with raising a child can be difficult to predict. Miscellaneous expenses include clothing, transportation, personal care products, electronics, preschool, daycare, after-school and summer childcare, summer camps, extracurricular activities, and more. These expenses often increase over the course of a child’s life.

If the question “how much does it cost to raise a child per year” worries you, here are some figures:

Understanding how much it costs to raise a child can be a difficult thing to get your head around. We’ve broken down some statistics below: 

  • Penfold has found that the average cost to put your child into a nursery full-time is £55.39 a day or £1,106.52 a month.

  • Child Poverty Action Group has also shed some more light on how much nursery costs can affect a family. The persistent rise in childcare costs over the past decade means that childcare now comprises around 60 per cent of the lifetime cost of a child for a couple working full time, compared to around 40 per cent in 2012.

Offset the cost of raising a child with these resources

If you find that the cost to raise a child is becoming overwhelming, these ideas may help: 

Discounted childcare

There are plenty of options for discounted childcare costs in the UK, with some offered by the government. 

Tax free childcare  

You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the cost of childcare.

30 hours free childcare  

Eligible working families in England with 3 and 4 year old children can receive 30 hours of free childcare a week.

15 hours free childcare  

Families in England who have 2 year old children and are on certain benefits can get 15 hours of free childcare a week.

Child benefit

You can claim Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is under 16 or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training

Crowdfunding for child-related expenses

Whether you’re trying to save for your child’s university fund or you simply need help paying for the essentials, online fundraising can be a lifeline. Crowdfunding is a simple way to pay for these expenses, and thousands of people have already started family fundraisers. 

Start reducing child-related expenses today 

At the end of the day, figuring out the answer to the questionhow much does it cost to raise a child?is not enough. If you’re struggling financially, what you need is a solution that can help relieve some of the burden. Crowdfunding is one of those solutions.

Crowdfunding makes it easier than ever for families to reach out for help. People rely on GoFundMe’s fundraising platform service to raise funds for kids and families every day. Your family’s fundraising page becomes a space where friends and family provide both financial and emotional support. If you haven’t already, start your fundraiser on GoFundMe to help with your child costs today.

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Written by GoFundMe