Tuesday, 10 May 2011

How YOU can take action on the rising cost of childcare

It's no secret that the cost of childcare is huge and rising, but what can be done about it? Recent research by the Daycare Trust estimate that it costs an average of £177 a week for a full time nursery place in Britain for a child under two – which is like paying another mortgage. And if you have two children in childcare, well, what can I say? We pay the most in Europe (bar Switzerland) and our costs are one of the highest in the World. Making work pay? I laugh in your face Mr Cameron, because I'm not sure it really does for the majority of people with children under five.

Today the charities Save the Children and Daycare Trust launched their campaign on the cost of childcare. As part of the campaign, they want to find out what impact the rising costs of childcare are having on families; from forcing them to cut back on household essentials to making it difficult for parents to find or keep jobs - especially the poorest who could be priced out of work because of the rising costs.

They’ve launched the biggest ever survey of parents in Britain to find out how childcare affects their lives, what they think about it and what can be done to help them. The results will be used to show the Government what impact the high costs are having on families. Every parent/carer can fill in the survey and by doing so, have their say. So if you are a parent, regardless of whether you are currently using childcare (because you may not due to the cost) now’s your chance! - www.savethechildren.org.uk/childcare.
PS, please do blog about this and share the survey amongst your networks. The more parents/carers respond, the stronger the voice that Save the Children's and Daycare Trust's campaign will have to influence the Government.


Annicles said...

How about considering why the cost of childcare has risen so much?

The govornment insists that every setting has a member of staff with an EYP (which is a postgraduate qualification, equal to a masters). That means that the nursery has a huge wage packet for that person. In the future the govt. envisages someone of this leve in every room. If the nursery has a baby room, a toddler room and a preschool room the wage bill will be enormous.

Then consider how the govornment has screwed up the whole subsidised places for three - five year olds. Nurseries can no longer top up the fees so they have a stark choice. Either charge more for all the children who fall outside the 15 sessions 3-5 years old to make up the difference, or cut what they are able to offer.

Taxes have been changed so that nurseries are no longer protected from exorbitant bills, CRB's have to be funded and a myriad of other charges and changes have forced many nurseries out of business. It used to be a pretty lucrative business prospect. You have to be committed to early years education now to get anything out of it. I do not know of a singe nursery that is doing any better than breaking even.

Rather than complaining about the nurseries and attacking them, how about addressing the issue of govornment mis-management and what the national response to child care and early years education should be?

Metropolitan Mum said...

£177 per week? I can only dream of that in Central London...

cartside said...

@Annicles, just to be clear, the campaign is not targetted at nurseries. Of course they have to pay their costs, and it's good to have qualified and highly trained staff, and that the staff should get a decent wage.

However, in other countries, childcare workers are even more qualified yet the state picks up some of the cost so that families on low incomes can still afford nursery fees.

The campaign will be about lobbying the governments, not the nurseries. And it will be informed by what parents say - so do fill in the survey with your own views!

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