We got a letter from nursery the other day to let us know that our childcare fees would be going up in April.
Not really a huge surprise there. Almost all businesses use the new tax year to increase their rates at little to keep them afloat of inflation. It’s not ideal but it is a way of life.
However this letter gave me a shock, and put me in a very ranty mood. Our fees are going up by £5.05 per day!!
With Henry in nursery three days a week, and zero government funding until he’s three (we’re not eligible for the two year funding) that’s around £70 per month extra that we have to find. And unfortunately my yearly pay rise is not going to cover the extra (I pay our childcare, whilst Dann pays the house bills etc).
Moving nurseries isn’t really an option as one of the main factors for choosing them in the first place is the very convenient location for me on my way to work. And I can’t take him out of nursery as we have no other childcare options.
So we’re left losing another £70 a month for the privilege of earning a wage and paying my taxes, contributing to society, in a job I don’t always massively like.
And I do understand the need for the increase.
They outlined very clearly why they need the additional money, and why it’s gone up so much. They have to cover the wages of their nursery nurses and ensure they are above minimum wage. They also have to pay their pensions. And of course their rent has gone up as is typical for the time of year.
And when it’s put like that, you can’t help but feel a little guilty for your resentment towards the new pricing. Of course the staff have bills to pay, and they want to keep their training up to date. The nursery wants to buy new toys and equipment for our kids to play with. They have food to buy so our kids don’t go hungry whilst they’re there. It’s cost after cost.
Unfortunately, my business doesn’t really care that my outgoings are going up faster than my pay packet. So I have to lose out. And that seems pretty unfair.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Our government really does need to do more for younger families that actually want to work. If they keep increasing the minimum wage, then maybe they should contribute towards services that keep others in work, and help educate our future generations. Perhaps giving them better funding for the early years funded children, would mean the other parents don’t have to take the financial hit.
Luckily, we won’t have to suffer for two long as I’m planning to go on maternity leave in June and reduce Henry’s hours at the same time. Which helps me, but obviously doesn’t help the nursery who will ultimately lose out.
I strongly believe that nursery is a great place for Henry, but unfortunately the financials make it a pretty bittersweet.