Concerns over childcare fees

CHILDCARE fees in the south east of England are leaving families short-changed, according to campaigners.

According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), childcare fees in Portsmouth and the surrounding region have risen more than four times faster than wages in the past 10 years.

On average, childcare fees in England cost £236 a week for a child under two in nursery, and £232 for children over two.

This, they say, means that families are left with £4,700 annual shortfalls, even after government support.

The TUC believes that the south east is the third worst affected region in the country, with a 12 per cent change in nominal wages for families but a 54 per cent increase in nursery costs.

Regional secretary Sam Gurney said: ‘Working parents have seen childcare fees rocket, as their wages have stagnated.

‘Despite government support families still face eye-watering nursery bills.

‘Britain’s cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on working mums and dads.’

Ellen Broomé from Coram Family and Childcare said: ‘Successive governments have rightfully invested in childcare but, while this investment has been welcomed, many parents remain frozen out of work because of high childcare costs.’