Harrow has been named as one of the top 20 most expensive places in the UK for childcare costs, new research has revealed.
The report found that parents in Harrow, who have a child born in July or August, could save thousands of pounds compared to if their child is born in September.
The research highlights the premium that parents may have to pay if their child is born earlier in the academic year, with September 26 the most common birthday across the UK, according to the ONS.
Children born in the winter months often start school just after their fourth birthday, but those born in September have to wait until they’re almost five-years-old to go to school.
Creditfix analysed hundreds of nursery day fees across the UK to paint a clear picture of the national childcare cost crisis. Harrow had the highest rates overall, at an average of £85.17 per day.
It revealed that for children born on 1 September, parents in Harrow will spend an average of £21,632.67 on childcare in the year before they go to school – as opposed to £1,362 if they’re born on 1 August.
Nationally, parents can expect to spend £13,033 more if their child is born in September compared to August.
This assumes the child is at nursery full-time, not including weekends or bank holidays. However, some parents may be able to secure 30 hours of free funding per week at nurseries depending on their income and child’s age, which would reduce this figure.
According to the findings, Harrow had the highest fees overall with parents paying an average of £85.17 per day to send their children to nursery. This is followed by Stevenage (£76.04), Woking (£74.20), High Wycombe (£69.78) and Bristol (£67.52).
In Harrow, fees were so high that parents could be handing over £20,269 more if their child is born in September compared to the August before the school term starts.
St. Helens in Merseyside had the most affordable day rate for parents at an average of £37.90 per day. Other Northern and Midlands areas also fared cheaper overall, including Oldham (£42.97), Middlesbrough (£43.15), Stoke-on-Trent (£43.31) and Chesterfield (£43.63).
Layla Johnson, regional manager at Creditfix, commented on the research: “Childcare costs, along with other everyday expenses, have spiralled in recent years, especially for parents with children attending nursery almost every working day of the year. Parents should feel confident that they can go back to work without having to worry about making a financial loss, or just about breaking even.
“As millions of households struggle with the cost of living crisis, we have conducted this research to highlight the disparity of just how much extra parents may have to budget for, depending on when their child is born. Parents in Harrow are particularly worse off when it comes to childcare costs.
“Of course, it’s difficult to be able to plan exactly the date, month, or even year when you do have a child, but if you do have the flexibility or luxury in deciding when to conceive, parents who give birth in the summer months may save financially.”