Families face a struggle to find affordable childcare provision due to a hike in prices and lack of 30 hours free entitlement places, an annual survey of councils has revealed. The cost of childcare for children under two has risen by seven per cent in the space of a year. The Family and Childcare Trust’s 2018 survey of councils has revealed that the average price of a 25-hours-a-week place for a child under the age of two has increased by seven per cent to £122 a week since 2017. This is more than double the current consumer price index’s annual rate of inflation of three per cent. Since 2017 the cost of 25-hours-a-week provision for a child aged two has increased by six per cent to £119, the survey also found. Working parents of children aged three and four are entitled to 30 hours of free childcare a week. But the survey of local provision found just half of councils are reporting they have enough 30 hours childcare places. The Family and Childcare Trust said families on low incomes with children aged under three are among the hardest hit as they are not receiving any additional support this year through tax-free childcare. Read more.