Payment problems

Daycare Trust has concluded that parents' abilities to pay childcare fees is most worrying to nursery managers and childminders.

Research carried out by the Daycare Trust has revealed that the issue causing nursery managers and childminders most sleepless nights is that of parents’ ability to pay childcare fees. The London Childcare Providers survey canvassed 430 providers across the capital, including private and voluntary sector day nurseries, nursery schools and pre-schools. The responses indicated that 32 per cent of settings felt that problems surrounding payment of fees were putting the most financial strain on their services, with 49 per cent also reporting increased running costs and 46 per cent a decrease in demand for places as a result of the economic climate. One in three settings also placed Local Authority cuts in the top five issues they faced.

On the other side of the coin, a majority of nurseries (51 per cent) agreed that 15 hours free entitlement for children aged 3–4 years had a ‘very positive’ or ‘positive’ effect on their settings.