South Holland parents are finding it tougher to make ends meet now they must pay a whopping £148,105 to raise a child from birth to 18.
The cost of bringing up a baby with a “decent” standard of living, revealed by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), has shot up by £5,924 since last year – a rise of four per cent.
Child care costs are included in the £148,000 bill.
Without child care, the cost of raising a child drops to £81,772, but that figure is up two per cent on last year, which means parents must fork out an extra £1,635.
Rising prices, stagnant wages, and ever diminishing Government support “paints a stark picture of parents being squeezed”, the CPAG says.
The report, Cost of a Child 2013, was co-funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Most parents we spoke to in Spalding duck child care costs because they simply cannot afford them.
Single mum Laura Appleby, from West Pinchbeck, says she couldn’t afford to have another child and looks after daughter Lilly-Mae, aged 16 months, because child care costs so much.
She said: “I struggle in a week to pay all the bills. I wouldn’t be able to cope with two children on my own.”
Mum-of-three Theresa Arnold, from Pinchbeck, said: “I take care of my own children because I think it’s disgusting how much they want you to pay for child care. One wanted £100 a week for one child – it’s ridiculous, especially if you are not working.”
Dad Charles De St Croix, from Donington, says he and wife Jeanette don’t pay anything like the figure in the CPAG report for sons Harry (8) and Oliver (3), but it’s a struggle to raise youngsters.
He said: “Everything has gone up in price, it’s just the cost of living. Wages are not going up. How people manage without wages I don’t know.”
Karina Kozlowska and her partner, who live in Spalding, have a son Filip, aged two-and-a-half months.
Karina is surprised by the cost of raising a child, but says: “It’s expensive in Poland too.”
Moulton mum Samantha Stupple says benefits aren’t enough for parents and she buys clothes for son Harry (3) from charity shops or is given them by friends.
Samantha, who also has a daughter Elizabeth, aged eight months, said: “I am lucky after paying my bills to have about £2 in my pocket.”
Pinchbeck mum Kerry Rogers agrees the cost of living is rising but chooses to work to pay for child care for Owen (5) and Evie-Grace (3).
She said: “I like working and I like being a mum.
“You adapt your lifestyle to suit what you want out of life.”