THE price of sending a young child to nursery part-time is now £122 a week, according to a new report which says the cost of childcare is soaring.

It also shows that prices vary across the country, and warns that only half of local authorities have enough childcare available for parents working full-time.

Overall, the Family and Childcare Trust’s 18th annual childcare survey found that sending a child in Britain aged under two to nursery part-time, for 25 hours a week, now costs £122 - up seven per cent on last year.

For a child aged two to attend for 25 hours, the cost is £119 a week, up six per cent.

Working parents in England are entitled to 30 free hours childcare a week for three and four-year-olds. If they need 20 extra hours on top of this, the average weekly price would be £94, the study says.

It notes that the survey does not give reasons for price increases, and these are likely to be different for different nurseries, childminders and parts of the country.

The study does note that although the cost of childcare for children aged under three has risen above inflation, some mums and dads will be paying less than last year as they can now use tax free childcare.

Tax free childcare covers up to 20 per cent of costs, the study says, calculating that this would take the price paid by parents with a child aged under two who needs 25 hours a week down from £6,344 a year to £5,075.

Other parents may get support, depending on circumstances, through the benefits system or other schemes.

The survey, based on information provided by local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland, calculates that average weekly nursery costs for a child aged under two in England alone are £124.73.

In England, the most expensive area is inner London at £183.56 a week, while the cheapest is the North West at £101.83.

The price for a child under two to attend a nursery for 50 hours a week is £232.84 a week, while in England alone it is £236.19.

In general, childminder costs are lower than nursery costs, and costs reduce slightly once a child turns two.

The survey also found that half of local authorities have enough childcare in all areas for children aged under two, while 42 per cent say they have enough in some areas.