(OVER THE FOUND FOOTAGE OF THE CHILD IN THE TOY STORE) Being a parent is a fulltime job and we all

know that kids don’t come cheap; there’s food, clothes, birthdays and Christmas but what about the overlooked expense of childcare. Whether it’s a playgroup, nursery or child minder it’s going to leave a hefty dent in your wallet. The average parent will pay around £4000 a year on childcare alone. So how is your typical working class family expected to meet these high demands? Earlier this year, Nick Clegg introduced a new scheme which intends to offer the most disadvantaged two years olds, 15 hours of free childcare per week. Up to 150,000 children will benefit from the scheme, this figure rising to 260,000 by 2014. (NICK CLEGGS INTERVIEW) (CHILDREN PLAYING AT THE TABLE) Research has found that children in high quality day care centres have an intellectual edge over children who go straight into schooling. Day-care offers a structured routine, teaching children a variety of skills such as singing, dancing and story-telling, which will prepare them for the future. We visited ‘Teddy Bears Nursery’ in Solihull to find out more about their price range. (JAN’S INTERVIEW) (OVER KIDS PLAYING ON THE FLOOR) More than three quarters of parents admitted they’ve made cutbacks to the family budget due to financial pressures caused by childcare costs and a staggering 1 in 5 have been forced to quit work. (JULIE’S INTERVIEW) The cost of raising a pre-secondary school child has risen to £90,000 and by the time they reach their 21st birthday that’s £218,000 gone from your bank account. Collectively, this adds up to a massive £8,307 per year not to mention their education which accounts for half of the total annual cost of raising a child.

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