Although most people will only look at children’s nurseries as somewhere you can leave your child in safety for a period of the day. As it is a multi-billion dollar industry, some people look at them as money making opportunities.
In the UK there are said to be over 11,500 day care facilities for children. Between them they take in almost 5 billion pounds per year.
This is a lot of money and is money which is paid by the average parent, in order that they can be assured of their child’s safety whilst they go out and earn money.
The problem is though, with children’s nursery prices increasing, is it still viable for both parents to keep working?
Or is it more financially beneficial for one parent to stay at home to mind the children?
First of all let’s look at what a children’s nursery is.
A children’s nursery is a place for children of various stages. Ranging in age from just a few months to an age when they are ready to start pre-school, can be left in safety.
This is under adequate supervision, for either part of a day or for all day between certain hours.
There is no hard and fast rule as to whether or not a child should go to a nursery. So it is very much a decision which has to be made by the child’s parents.
Often though, a child needs to be taken care of for at least part of the day. Especially if both its parents work or if it is from a one parent family and that parent works.
This is because most places of employment do not cater to young children being present in the work place.
Although it would obviously be nice to be able to place your child in a nursery whilst you were at work. For some, it is financially challenging.
Over the last 5 years the cost for a child to just stay part time at a nursery, has increased by almost 30% so parents now have to pay on average £6,000 per year.
If there was no obvious solution to a nursery near me. Then I would look at some other options.
A parent does have other options however and some of those options may start to seem more financially viable whilst children nursery prices continue to increase.
A recent survey has shown that whilst the cost to send a 2 year old to a nursery part-time, has increased by 4.1% to £109.83 per week.
Over the last year on average, the cost of a part-time child-minder for a child of the same age has only increased by 2.5% to £103.04 per week.
It is perhaps because of these high costs that many parents are leaving their children with the child’s grandparents whilst they are at work.
However that is only an option if the grandparents are in agreement and if they live in close proximity.
With the costs involved and the high number of families that are affected by these increasing costs.
It is little wonder that the government is now trying to render some financial assistance to qualifying families.
In 2016 the government is introducing a pilot scheme that will increase the number of hours that a parent can claim for child care services.
In England, the current allowance that can be claimed for is 570 hours for 3 and 4 year olds.
This equates to 15 hours a week for 38 weeks. The pilot scheme will increase this to 30 hours per week, providing the parents earn less than £100,000 per annum.
In other parts of the UK there are similar allowances such as in Scotland you can claim for up to 600 hours and you may also qualify to claim for a 2 year old if you meet certain criteria.
In Northern Ireland you can claim for 12.5 hours of child care per week, again for 38 weeks each year. Within Wales you can claim for up to 10 hours of free education for 3 and 4 year olds.
In these days when most country’s economies are tight, it is becoming increasingly necessary for both parents in a family to work. Although they need to in order to pay the bills and put food on the table.
However, if the cost of child care continues to increase at a higher rate than wages do. Parents will be forced to make a decision as to what they should do in terms of child care.
Obviously if the cost of child care is higher than what the lowest paid parent earns. It would not be financially viable for them to pay child care.
They would be better off with one parent staying at home to care for the children at no cost.
The present government has recognized this as an increasing problem. That is why they have started to introduce pilot schemes for children’s nurseries some areas.
An opposition party is also aware of the problem. They have said that they would increase the numbers of children receiving free child care.
Is this all going to be enough though? As the only thing which is certain is, there will always be children that need to be taken care of.
As well as many parents that earn too little.
The problem should perhaps be addressed by placing a limit on how much children’s nurseries can charge. Whilst ensuring that their prices do not increase more than the cost of living.
Certainly not increase more than the average incomes.
As one of a nursery’s highest costs is salaries, this should not unduly affect its ability to provide a good and safe service.
Of course it may mean though that the owners of the nurseries may not make so much profit.
This is going to remain an ongoing problem unless it is handled in a manner which affects the long term.
As children will always need to be safely looked after and parents are increasingly not going to be able to afford that care.
It also becomes a bigger problem as there become an increasing number of one parent families.
If you need support finding suitable childcare in your area. Then you could consider searching for phrases such as ‘Local nursery’, ‘nursery near me’ or even ‘nursery in my area’. This should help you to narrow down your options.