Published On: Wed, May 24th, 2023
Business | 0 views

The areas where monthly nursery fees cost more than rent – MAPPED | Personal Finance | Finance

The data show that nowhere do nursery costs tower higher over rent than in Kingston upon Hull.

Full-time private preschool costs for one child came to £907 a month in the East Yorkshire port city, a full £279 more than the £628 average rent for a three-bedroom home.

The second-biggest price disparity was found in Walsall in the West Midlands, where nursery costs £250 more than rent a month, followed by Swindon (£242) and (£153).

Although nursery fees in London are by far the steepest in the UK at £1,553 a month, persistently strong demand for rental properties means tenants in the capital fork out £2,459 for a house on average.

Commenting, Neil Leitch, CEO of educational charity Early Years Alliance, told “The fact that monthly nursery and pre-school costs are at least £100 more than rent for seven in ten UK towns is unsurprising but extremely concerning.

“No family should be priced out of accessing early years care and education, but, years of underfunding have left nurseries, pre-schools and childminders with no choice but to raise fees simply to keep their doors open.”

While all three to four-year-olds in England are entitled to 570 free hours of early education annually, this works out to just 15 hours per week over 38 weeks of the year.

Full-time employees in the UK work a 36.6-hour week on average, making nursery, a babysitter or family help necessary for most. It is also increasingly common for one parent in a working couple to give up their job entirely in favour of childcare.

Getting people back to work was central to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget, unveiled in March. His statement ended with a pledge to offer 30 hours of free childcare for every child from the age of nine months for households where all adults work.

He claimed the package was worth £6,500 a year for a family with a two-year-old currently using 35 hours of private childcare a week, and would thus reduce their costs “by nearly 60 percent.”

Mr Leitch added: “If that wasn’t bad enough it seems likely that the Government’s expansion to the 30-hour offer is only going to heap further pressure on providers who are already pushed to the brink both in terms of capacity and budget.

“It is absolutely critical, therefore, that the government both consults with the sector when implementing their expansion plans and properly funds the sector, not only to ensure that costs for parents and providers do not increase further, but that even more settings do not close.”

Source link