Source: Independent >> Read full article and comment
By Sarah Cassidy, Social Affairs Correspondent
Friday, 14 May 2010
Nursery fees have increased at double the rate of inflation although many parents face pay freezes, reduced working hours, and unemployment because of the recession, according to the latest financial research into childcare.
Last year fees rose by an average of 4 per cent, roughly double the rate of inflation for 2009, according to Laing and Buisson’s Nursery Sector Report. The increase has had a marked effect on the number of children attending nurseries which dropped by 4 per cent during 2009, with the recession and rising unemployment leading families to scale back their childcare costs.
The research also found nurseries had been forced out of business because of the recession and more than one in five places lay vacant in 2009 as parents withdrew their children to save money.
This sharp rise in nursery charges followed five years of below-inflation increases, the report found. The increase is thought to have been fuelled by increased staff costs caused by Government reforms aimed at improving nursery workers’ qualifications. … Continue reading