Thursday, 19 February 2015

Why is childcare so expensive?

From the BBC:

All political parties are being urged to join forces to review the UK's childcare system as another report highlights rising childcare costs.

The Family and Childcare Trust's annual survey says the average cost of a part-time nursery place for a child under two has risen 33% since 2010.

Shocking stuff. But what lies at the heart of high childcare costs in Britain today?

A further element in the expansion of government into the pre-school years is a comprehensive system of regulation of childcare providers, which has brought them into an unprecedented state-determined curriculum for under-fives. This scheme has thirteen assessment scales, each of which has nine points against which children’s development must be measured. Providers of childcare are subject to Ofsted inspection in the same way as schools for older children.
The requirement to implement this ‘early years Foundation Stage’, together with a set of demanding regulations about premises, food safety and so forth, has meant that many informal providers of childcare have simply left the market. The number of registered childminders fell from nearly 100,000 when Labour came into power in 1997 to 57,000 in 2010.

Governments. Screwing things up since time immemorial.


Christopher Snowdon said...

EYFS has to be seen to be believed.

I think almost no parent wants it. What I wanted when my two were in nursery was a little play, a little pre-education, a little socialisation.

Virtually all of EYFS was done anyway, and what wasn't is the usual trendy cr*p nobody wants but lefties. The problem is the cost of documenting all this rubbish. You don't just have to do it, you have to have hundreds of pages of documentation of doing it.

It increases labour costs as well. Whilst caring, teaching a little reading, writing and arithmetic doesn't require too much, filling in all this cr*d does (and I do not know about EYFS, but these rules usually come with demands of staff to be NVQ qualified).

Christopher Snowdon said...

As Ronald Reagan once said:

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are:

Christopher Snowdon said...

I wonder if the drop in childcare is due to people making informal arrangements that the government simply doesn't know about. Like getting a neighbour or relatives to child mind, and paying them cash.

I know this is happening in my little corner of the world, mainly because of the extremely high cost of formal childcare, which in many cases defeats the purpose of working for many parents.

Christopher Snowdon said...

Over regulation leads to no regalation at all.

As long as sensible regulation is in place, many people are willing and able to pay some money for the added security it promisses. But when zealotic regulation frenzy drives the cost in time, money, and red tape to prohibitive level, most people simply can't afford it.

Christopher Snowdon said...

This is the problem in my industry too. Regulations have become so burdensome that drivers are leaving the transport industry in droves, so the ones who stay on demand a higher wage simply because they can. In some categories the daily rate has increased by 30% in the past 2 years.