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Childcare costs become higher and just keep rising...

Updated: Jan 4, 2023



I have written about this subject many times and there just seems to be no solution being offered to help parents and even the tax payer. Costs have risen over the 30 years I have been in this industry and it just does not ever get resolved.

We have in this country options of childcare:

Nannies: Sole charge, full/part time, share nanny, nanny plus nursery and so forth. Average cost of a nanny is between £10.00-£15.00 per hour but it will depend on the area, qualifications and experience. You pay for the nanny not per child, having two or more children can make this very cost effective. If you share a nanny with another family the cost does go up by approximately 25% for the extra responsibilities of two families and the cost is then divided between the families. You can source more information from #Association of nanny agencies https://anauk.org

If your nanny is on the voluntary childcare registration they will have to had the common core skills training, an up to date DBS, insurance and Paediatric first aid. This will help parents be reassured. However the system does not check previous employment or references, we urge parents to go to a reputable nanny agency to find a nanny knowing that the additional background checks are completed and both parties will be supported.

Day Nurseries: Again many can spilt this with part time parent help, childminders or nannies. Again costs will vary but can range from £60 per day per child

Childminder: Part or full time https://www.gov.uk/find-registered-childminder

The cost of full time care for your children can be more than a mortgage, there is help out there with nannies being ofsted registered so parents have financial assistance, payment for 30 hours childcare and of course many grandparents are willing to help. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/qualifying-for-the-voluntary-part-of-the-childcare-register

When seeking childcare look at all the options available. If you have one or more children or happy to share childcare with a friend you could look at the nanny option and share the cost.

You may wish to spilt the child care options with Nursery/nanny and help for a couple of days with grandparents. Maybe you can child swop with family or friend and help each other out on a playdate day to assist with costs.

Think carefully about the care and the costs and there is not one solution to consider there are options.

Please read the article in the guardian recently regarding costs to parents it is a concern but we hope the information about may help parents with informed decisions.


The whole setup is diabolical’: parents’ fears over childcare costs

As fees are to rise by as much as 19% in the new year many families are considering cheaper options. Sally Weale Education correspondent Sally Weale Education correspondentSally Weale Education correspondent

Parents who are already struggling with soaring childcare costs have expressed horror after being told their fees are to go up again in the new year by as much as 19%, as nurseries across the country try to cover their own rising costs.

Letters and emails have been sent out by childcare providers, informing parents of the latest price hikes. As a result, some are considering reducing their childcare, pulling their children out, giving up work or even leaving the country to find cheaper childcare abroad.

Parents who responded to a Guardian call-out said they were already spending more on nursery fees than on their mortgage. Others said their salary barely covers their childcare bill as inflationary pressures drive up providers’ costs.

Katie, a charity sector worker in Bath, whose nursery fees for her two-year-old will go up 17.5% in January, with an increase of £10 a day to £67, said: “It’s not unexpected but just adds to the already extremely high cost.

“At the moment the crisis in early years recruitment makes us grateful to even have a space.” Another nursery in the area has given notice to 23 families because of staff shortages, while another has reduced hours at short notice.

A father in Leicester said childcare costs for his daughter went up by 10% in April and will now be going up another 12% in January. “Our three-year-old is only two days in nursery, but is now costing more than £500 a month.”

Sarah, an office worker from Somerset, said: “It just makes me feel sick. Our electric bill has just ticked over in to a higher rate, already fuel and food bills are soaring, then the nursery fee goes up. I have no spare cash at the end of the month.

“My son is 15 months old. Before he was born I had a good paying job and was living comfortably. From when I started looking at nurseries to starting, the fee went up and four months later it’s gone up again. Where is the help for people that want to work?”

Meanwhile, a father working in financial services in London said nursery costs for his one-year-old daughter, who is in full day care, would go up an eye-watering 19% in January, increasing from £2,100 to £2,500 a month.

Most respondents who contacted the Guardian were sympathetic to childcare providers who are seeing their own costs rise with soaring inflation, and many blamed underfunding of the government’s 30-hour childcare provision for three and four-year-olds which means nurseries have to cross-subsidise “free” hours by increasing their overall fees.

Heather, a solicitor in Leeds, said her two-year-old daughter had been going to a local private nursery for just over a year. “In that time there has been one price increase of 6% last January and we have just been informed that fees will go up again in the coming January by 10%.

“We were expecting it to be high because nurseries are experiencing the same cost increases as everyone else. The government is not increasing early years funding in line with inflation so no wonder nurseries are struggling.

“I had my baby fully expecting to pay good money for her to be educated and looked after while I go to work, so I’m not about to complain about fees going up. It’s the best value for money purchase I make every month and worth every penny.”

Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement last month made no mention of childcare, but as fees go up and childcare providers go under it is likely to become a key election issue.

Ashley Fryer from Kingston upon Thames, who is head of media at a national charity and has an 18-month-old and a four-year-old, will see her childcare bill go up £130 from January. “My husband and I have decent salaries but saving any money every month is impossible given our fees are over £2,600 a month – and that’s before the increase.”

Philippa Mullen, a part-time civil servant and mother of two nursery-aged children, said since her son started nursery in January 2019, fees have gone up four times – but she is yet to receive a pay rise. “The whole setup is diabolical. Working mums in particular are being forced out of work. I don’t have any disposable income whatsoever. The only reason I’m working is for my pension contribution and to keep a foot in the industry.”

A university administrator said his nursery has just announced price increases for the new year from £300 to £312 a week – the second increase in recent months. “It may get to the point where it actually becomes cheaper for one of us to quit their job and look after the child.

“We are also considering how feasible it would be to leave this country and move to another where childcare is free. It may actually be a more viable option than remaining in the UK, which is, frankly, depressing.”

Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), said: “We know nurseries and childcare settings are working hard to keep fee increases down but the government has put early years providers in an impossible situation by not paying its fair share.”

A government spokesperson said the government had spent more than £20bn over the past five years to support families with the cost of childcare and had set out plans to help providers run their businesses more flexibly. “We know many households and childcare providers are facing pressures from recession and high inflation. Improving the cost, choice and availability of high-quality childcare for working parents is important for this government,” they said.

CASE STUDIES

Irene Muma, from Grays in Essex, works full-time as an HR business partner, but is planning to reduce the number of days her two-year-old son is at nursery to cut costs.

“As a first-time mum I am feeling the impact of the extreme childcare costs. My son’s childcare costs more than my mortgage and half of my pay goes on childcare. The nursery fees went up in September 2022 from £54 a day to £60. I am at a stage where I will need to reduce my son’s days at nursery and cut down my hours to care for my son. This is not my choice, rather as a consequence of the costs of childcare. As a family we are unable to save sufficiently and we are seeing a reduced standard of living. I am in a constant state of anxiety and stress because my career is just as important as being a mum. I shouldn’t have to choose either or. The combination of high childcare costs and cost of living crisis is really impacting my mental health. And I know a lot of mothers are going through the same struggle.”

Amanda Sheriff, who owns Little Hubbers day nursery in North Shields, is putting up her fees by just over 8% next April in order to stay afloat.

“Yes, fees are going up! The national minimum wage increase alone means I have to find an additional £3000 a month, and that’s without national insurance contributions, tax increases, VAT payments, etc. The building mortgage has gone up £459 a month, food costs have gone up £480 a month, gas and electricity have increased by 40%. Absolutely everything has gone up by 12%-20% in the last six months, yet the government-funded hours have not increased in line with inflation since its implementation in 2017. Of course fees need to go up or we as a business will go under. I’ve got zero choice.”

Topics

  • Childcare


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