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London parents struggling to pay for nurseries: Survey

Category: England

Published: 24th May 2012 18:58:31

Almost half of London's childcare providers are under financial strain because parents are struggling to pay their bills, a survey indicates.

Nurseries, childminders, playgroups, breakfast and holiday clubs in London took part in a survey for childcare charity the Daycare Trust.

Of the respondents, 44% said parents' inability to pay was a greater strain than staff costs or rents.

The Mayor of London's office said he continued to highlight problems.

The recession was cited by 83% of respondents as the biggest reason why parents are struggling with nursery costs.

Ten per cent of respondents blamed the cut in childcare support which has left some families £500 a year worse off.

Four of the top five policy proposals in the survey require Boris Johnson's support, said the Daycare Trust.

Forty-six per cent of respondents called on Boris Johnson to lobby for a reversal of the tax credit cut.

In April 2011 the maximum amount of childcare support available through tax credits was cut from 80 to 70%.

Anand Shukla, chief executive of Daycare Trust, said: "Our research shows that potentially tens of thousands of childcare places in London are at risk, as sustainability is threatened because parents simply cannot afford their fees.

"This is not a surprise - parents in London pay higher fees than anywhere else in the country and are being hit hardest by the cuts to childcare tax credits."

Sixty-eight per cent of childcare providers reported reduced funding from their local authorities.

The trust urged Mr Johnson to use his new term to tackle a "growing childcare crisis".

The Mayor's Office said Mr Johnson was making the case to government about the challenges of high childcare costs in London.

A spokesman said he was campaigning for 20,000 part-time jobs to help parents wanting to return to work.

He added: "Mr Johnson published his economic case for continued investment in Early Years provision last year - an issue that's already been raised with his Education Inquiry - and is working closely with London Councils on the impact of meeting free early education for disadvantaged two year olds in the capital.

"He continues to encourage better up-take of working tax credits through his annual Know Your Rights Campaign."

Surveys were sent to 2,600 contacts in the Daycare Trust's London childcare network and 418 responded.

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BBC News, 2012. London parents struggling to pay for nurseries: Survey [Online] (Updated 24th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1430775/London-parents-struggling-to-pay-for-nurseries-Survey [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

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