Labour has accused the Government of “failing children and families” as it said the cost of after-school clubs has risen by more than £800 a year since the Conservatives came into power.
According to analysis from the opposition, the price of after-school childcare for primary age children has increased 1.5 times faster than other items such as food and clothing since 2010.
Labour says the average family is now spending more on after-school clubs than on their weekly food shop.
Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson warned the steep cost of after-school childcare, in addition to soaring food, fuel and housing costs, could force parents out of work and leave more and more children missing out on these activities and time with friends.
She called on the Government to match Labour’s recovery plan, which commits to breakfast and after-school clubs for all, supporting parents struggling to balance rising bills and prioritising children’s learning.
“As parents battle rising costs of living, soaring childcare costs are making life ever harder for families,” she said.
“For many the return to school simply means yet more bills for parents to pay.
“Labour has been clear for months – we would be supporting families and boosting children’s development now with breakfast and after-school clubs for every child, alongside our plan to freeze the energy price cap to save families £1,000 on their bills this winter.
“Our zombie government is failing children and families. Labour’s plans would deliver the fresh start our country needs.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We recognise families with children are facing price rises due to global inflation and we are doing more to support households with over £37 billion to help those most in need through the Household Support Fund.
“We have invested over £4 billion in each of the past five years to support families with the cost of childcare and in July we announced plans to improve the cost, choice and availability of childcare that will benefit hundreds of thousands of parents across the country.”