The cost of raising a child in London has now reached more than a quarter of a million pounds.

According to the 13th annual ‘Cost of a Child’ report from insurance company LV=, the cost of raising a child in the capital from birth to the age of 21 is now a staggering £253,638.

The cost of raising a child in London has been increasing over recent years, with last year's figure coming in at £249,763.

Rising expenses costs such as babysitting, education, food, clothing and holidays are said to be to blame.

The research found that the most expensive years are between the ages of one and four, with the cost of childcare and babysitting in particular adding to the financial strain, amounting to nearly a third of the total cost of raising a child.

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Childcare costs increased by the most over the last year, making it the second biggest expense after education.

More than half of London's parents say they have to pay for a babysitter more than once a week.

Yorkshire and Humber was found to be the region where it is cheapest to raise a child, coming in at £214,559.

Myles Rix, Managing Director, Protection at LV= said: “The cost of raising a child is at an all-time high and, with the price-tag of childcare continuing to rise, family incomes are being stretched even further.

"An unforeseen illness or accident could have a huge impact on family finances and we would urge parents to ensure they have a plan in place to guard against a sudden loss of income, for example taking out an income protection product."