Experiences of Childcare Providers in Northern Ireland Report
When talking about the provision of childcare, the focus can be on the cost to parents, but it is important to put this in context with what it actually costs to deliver quality childcare.
It is important to put this in context with what it costs to deliver childcare. Childcare providers can only deliver childcare where it is financially sustainable for them to do so. This research found that 59% of providers reported that they were either just breaking even or making a loss in the last financial year. Even so, the majority – 77% – had kept their fees the same, despite rising costs. Concerned about increasing fees and the potential impact on parents, many have tried to absorb the costs and minimise the impact.
Key findings of the research include:
- 59% of childcare providers reported breaking even or making a loss in the last financial year
- 77% of childcare providers had kept fees the same in the previous 12 months
- 21% had increased their fees with key reasons including the cost of food, materials and equipment, rising staff costs, and the impact of the National Minimum and Living Wages
- Looking back, while 56% reported their overall expenditure had gone up, just 26% reported an increase in their income
- Looking forward, 42% anticipate their expenditure will increase in the coming year, with just 23% anticipating income will increase.
Looking forward, this report highlights the need for strategic investment in the childcare sector in Northern Ireland. Employers For Childcare will continue to lobby for the critical investment that enables parents to access work, education or training, and recognises the value of childcare and those employed in the sector.