Childcare in Northamptonshire is among highest in East Midlands

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Northamptonshire is one of the most expensive areas in the East Midlands for childcare for three and four-year-olds, new figures reveal.

On average, childcare in the local authority costs £4.50 an hour, according to Department for Education data.

For two-year-olds it was the same price.

In every other local authority in the East Midlands, the average cost was £4.25.

Every three and four-year-old gets 15 hours of free childcare a week, and 30 hours for those with parents who both earn the equivalent of 16 hours at the minimum wage.

Two-year-olds with parents who receive welfare benefits also receive 15 hours free childcare a week.

Gingerbread, a charity which supports single parents, called on the Government to increase its 30 hour offer to those in education, training and on zero hour contracts.

Dalia Ben-Galim, the charity’s director of policy, said: “Gingerbread’s research shows some single parents spend roughly half their take-home pay on a nursery place and they consistently tell us it doesn’t always pay to work.”