A new study by the Halifax suggests that the cost of raising a child to the age of 11 has increased by 15 per cent in the last five years and is now more than £90,000.
The research says that in 2011 the annual cost of raising a child was £8,307, up by £1,085 from £7,222 five years ago.
Inflation over the same period has increased by an even faster rate, up by 18 per cent over the same period. Parents now spend just under a fifth, 18 per cent, of their income on bringing up a child.
The largest cost element comes from the cost of schooling a child which has risen by 24 per cent in the last five years, up from £694 in 2007 to £849 in 2012. Costs include uniforms, equipment, school lunches and school trips.
Last week the government insisted that in the current economic climate schools have a “moral responsibility” to keep the costs of school uniforms down. The average secondary school uniform costs £200 with PE kit extra on top of this.
The cost of nurseries and childminding provided the second biggest increase, up by 22 per cent to £3,346 in 2011. In total this accounts for 40 per cent of the overall cost.
As a result of the other increases at a time of unprecedented strain on household budgets, spending on holidays and food fell in real terms. Parents now spend £889 feeding their children in 2011, up 14 per cent from £780 in 2007.
Spending on clothes fell by 15 per cent from £602 in 2007 to £513 in 2011. Halifax said that heavy discounting by retailers could have influenced the drop in spending on clothing.
Spending on holidays for children rose by 16 per cent to £740 a year.
Halifax economist Martin Ellis said: "The cost of raising a child under the age of 11 has increased by 15 per cent over the past five years.
"This has added to the already considerable strain on household finances during the economic downturn.
"Childcare costs and education account for half, or £4,200, of the total annual cost of raising a child.
"This is a substantial sum for most households, so it pays to ensure sound financial planning when you are looking to start a family."
Halifax said that household spending on children had fallen as the UK’s double-dip recession had become more entrenched. In real terms spending on children in 2011 grew by three per cent, but inflation between 2010 and 2011was 5.2 per cent.
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