Parents in Mansfield and Ashfield hammered by rising childcare costs

NO KIDDING -- the cost of childcare has rocketed by 33% in the last five years. (PHOTO BY@ Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire).
NO KIDDING -- the cost of childcare has rocketed by 33% in the last five years. (PHOTO BY@ Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire).

Parents in Mansfield and Ashfield are having to fork out up to 20 per cent more than the regional average to pay for sending their toddlers to nursery, according to a new report.

The Family and Childcare Trust’s survey reveals that the cost of a part-time nursery place for a child under two has risen by an inflation-busting 33 per cent across the country over the last five years.

One of the biggest increases (26 per cent) has come in the East Midlands where the average price is now £118.82 per 25-hour week, or £6,178.64 per year.

But in the Parliamentary constituencies of Mansfield and Ashfield, nursery prices tend to be 10-20 per cent even more expensive, the report reveals.

Childminder prices in the two districts differ to the regional average. The cost is an average of £75 per 25-hour week in Ashfield and £90 per 25-hour week in Mansfield. And after-school and holiday childcare tends to be a little cheaper than the regional average..

The report also disclosed that as many as 27 per cent of children in Mansfield and Ashfield live in poverty (after housing costs). It warned Nottinghamshire County Council to ensure there is not a shortage of childcare in deprived areas where parents struggle to break even.

“The council is obliged to carry out an annual report to examine the supply of and demand for childcare,” says the report. “But it has not undertaken any such assessments since 2011. It needs to ensure there are no gaps in provision that can act to drive up the costs of childcare.”

Justine Gibling, group manager for Early Years and Early Intervention atthe county council, said: “We undertook an audit to ensure we had sufficient childcare in 2014-15 and this will be updated each year with the audit for 2015-16 to be produced in April. This identifies any shortage in the availability of places for young children and then informs how we work with the sector to develop the market to provide good quality sustainable childcare.”