Research in England points to rising costs for nurseries and childminders

The Department for Education in England has published research which shows rising costs for nurseries and childminders. The report, based on detailed interviews with 120 childcare settings between March and July 2018, states that hourly costs had risen in the previous three years more than can be explained by inflation, rises to the National Living and Minimum Wages, and pension contribution changes.

While the sample size is small, the report’s findings highlight the importance of adequate investment in our childcare infrastructure to ensure it is sustainable. Key findings included:

  • Staffing costs account for more than three quarters of provider costs and are set to rise further with increases to the National Minimum and Living Wages in April.
  • Most settings are charging the same fee to parents for all ages of children.

We are aware that childcare providers in Northern Ireland are also facing rising costs with 67% having reported an increase in expenditure in our most recent research but only 19% increasing fees. Just a third of childcare providers in 2018 told us they are making a profit – this situation is not sustainable and significant investment in our childcare infrastructure is required.

In order for us to lobby for this investment, we need childcare providers to tell us about the issues and challenges facing them. Accurate, reliable and up-to-date information is vital to inform our work in campaigning for support for this important sector to benefit parents and providers. If you have not yet done so, we are urging all Northern Ireland childcare providers to please take five minutes to complete the survey here.