In this article
How much will a day nursery place cost?The typical cost of a full-time day nursery place is about £210 a week for a child younger than two. In some areas, such as London, the average cost rises to £280.
Day nursery places tend to be more expensive for children under two. It gets a little cheaper as your child gets older. This is because babies and toddlers need more hands-on care, so the nursery has to employ more staff.
Find out more about day nurseries.
How much will a childminder cost?On average, childminders charge just under £200 per child per week for full-time care. This may be higher depending on when you want to drop off and pick up your child.
Some childminders may offer a discount if she is caring for more than one of your children.
Childminders are self-employed, so you won’t have to pay any tax on top of the fee. But you may find that childminders charge more if you live in an area where there’s high demand.
Find out more about childminders.
How much will it cost to hire a nanny?A nanny is usually the most expensive childcare option. The average take-home salary for a live-in nanny ranges from £300 to £350 per week, depending on where you live. Day nannies charge between £400 and £475 per week.
You may also want to offer other benefits to your nanny, such as the use of a car, private healthcare or gym membership.
When you hire a nanny you become an employer, and need to pay tax and national insurance for your employee. You’ll also need to set up and contribute to a pension if she's between 23 and state retirement age.
If you're unable to cover the cost of a nanny on your own, consider sharing one with another family to ease the expense.
Find out more about nannies and nanny sharing.
How much will an au pair cost?Hiring an au pair is one of the least expensive childcare options. Au pairs are not classed as employees but as a member of the family. However, you do need to pay your au pair, as well as providing room and board.
If an au pair works 25 hours per week, you must pay a minimum of £70. This increases to £85 per week if she works 30 hours. If an au pair does extra babysitting outside her set hours, you’ll need to pay her more.
You will also have another mouth to feed, and you’ll need to calculate extra heating, electricity and water costs. And you should always pay the au pair’s share if you’re all going out for a family lunch or outing.
Bear in mind that au pairs do not have formal training in childcare. As such, an au pair is not suitable if your child is under two years old.
Find out more about au pairs.
Should I pay a relative to care for my child?It's up to you. Paying your relative can make your relationship more professional. Some parents find this helps them to set ground rules rather than feel that their relatives are just doing a favour for them.
Even if you do offer to pay or cover expenses, it doesn’t mean your relative will accept money. Some family members may be happy to take care of your child for free.
Alternatively, you could take your relative for dinner or buy them a gift voucher every now and then. You could also help out around their house with chores, or offer to do their shopping. Don’t forget that your relative will need time off regularly.
Find out more about care by a relative.
Are you eligible to get some extra help with the cost of childcare?
Last reviewed: October 2015
ReferencesDfE. 2015. Childcare Bill. The Department for Education. GOV.UK gov.uk [Accessed August 2015]
MAS. Maternity and paternity right: childcare costs and options. Money Advice Service. moneyadviceservice.org.uk. [Accessed August 2015]
FCT. Childcare Costs Survey. Family and Childcare Trust. Childcare cost survey 2015 Final. familyandchildcaretrust.org [pdf, accessed August 2015]
The Pensions Regulator. 2015. The essential guide for automatic enrolment. GOV.UK. thepensionsregulator.gov.uk [Accessed August 2015]