Nursery costs in England rise above inflation rate

Nursery costs in England have increased at almost double the rate of inflation, despite the recession. The findings come from childcare charity Daycare Trust’s annual Childcare Costs Survey, compiled from figures submitted by Family Information Services in England, Scotland and Wales. In England the cost of a nursery place has risen by 5.1 per cent, while all forms of childcare costs have seen an increase.

Purnima Tanuku, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) comments: “High quality childcare is crucial in the current economic climate and it is also important to recognise that many nurseries themselves have seen falling demand due to job losses and reduced hours of use by parents. NDNA recognises that many parents find it difficult to pay for childcare, but our evidence also shows nurseries are experiencing a real battle to remain open in tough times and achieve challenging government targets for better qualified staff. Nurseries themselves are very aware of the struggles parents face and are working hard to keep increases to an absolute minimum, with many barely breaking even.

Purnima adds: “Although the average rise (in fees) of 5.1% sounds high, it is important to consider the reason for this…… Nurseries are working hard to achieve the government vision of a highly qualified nursery team with graduate leadership, but are finding it hard to reward them without passing some of the cost to parents. We agree that more help is to be welcomed for parents, but equally government needs to look at more investment in nurseries so that they can pay their staff the wages they deserve without making childcare unaffordable for parents. In the meantime, it is vital that parents check they are getting all the help available for the costs of childcare, such as childcare vouchers and tax credits, as these can make significant savings yet there are many families who are unaware they are entitled to them..……Childcare is vital to the success and recovery of the economy, and we hope that all political parties will ensure supporting families and the sector is high on the agenda for their manifestos.”

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