Parents are spending hundreds of pounds extra a month to take care of their children during lockdown. New data from comparethemarket.com’s Household Financial Confidence Tracker shows that 40% of families with children at home have spent more on their children during lockdown than they would normally. Of these, parents are spending an average of £52 more every week on childcare, food and entertainment.

The twelve weeks of lockdown so far could have cost many families an extra £625. With the summer holidays still a few weeks away, these additional weekly costs could add to what can already be an expensive time for parents.

Families with children are also facing extended worries around their employment and future income, which will add to concerns over how to pay for childcare. 40% say they expect either to be made redundant or that they will have to take a pay cut or reduce their hours as a result of the pandemic (up from 37% two weeks ago). This compares to 26% of households without children at home. Over the past week, the proportion of families with children at home who struggled to pay their bills fell slightly from 27% to 23%, but this figure is still significantly higher than those without children at home (12%).

Mark Gordon, Director of Money at comparethemarket.com, said “Families with children at home have been one of the groups hit hardest financially by the lockdown. Many are caught between diminished income on one hand – having reduced hours voluntarily to care for their children or having seen their employment circumstances change for the worse – and higher costs on the other. Measures by the Government to cut taxes on essential goods will help, as will its commitment to extending free school meal vouchers throughout the summer holidays, but banks and financial services companies also need to continue to be flexible as many of their customers will be feeling the financial strain.”

Average amount spent extra on looking after children amongst parents who say they are spending more each week

All families with children at home £52.05
5 years old and under £55.31
Between 6 and 10 years old £54.65
Between 11 and 15 years old £53.12
Between 16 and 18 years old £57.08
Over 18 years old £42.11
NET: 6-18 years old £53.61

Average amount spent extra on looking after children amongst parents who say they are spending more each week

Scotland £39.87
North East £83.53
North West £37.75
Yorkshire & Humberside £23.54
West Midlands £55.24
East Midlands £33.38
Wales £34.31
Eastern £41.72
London £71.47
South East £83.41
South West £41.98
Northern Ireland £47.69