Research from the Daycare Trust has revealed the most expensive nursery in the country, where parents pay a staggering ELEVEN pounds per hour for care. The fees at the centre in the West Midlands, which has not been named in the report, amount to an outrageous £28,600 for a full time annual place - almost three times the cost of average yearly private schooling fees.
The Trust's acting chief executive, Anand Shukla, warned the 'rapid rise' in nursery costs was making life even harder for families, who were already struggling with the rise in VAT and escalating food and fuel costs.
The charity said an average nursery place costs families with a child under two £5,028 a year in England, an increase of 4.8% during 2010, and more than twice the 2.1% rate of wage growth.
Anand Shukla said the costs might make some families reconsider the financial viability of staying in work. He said: 'When parents sit down to calculate their family finances and see childcare costs increasing far faster than their wages, it is no wonder they may think twice about the economic sense of staying in work.
'These findings add to our concern about the reduction in the childcare element of Working Tax Credit, which from April will only cover up 70% of childcare costs for low income working families, rather than the current 80%.
Once this change comes into place, some families will effectively have an extra £546 a year added to their childcare bill. Yet parents in the UK already spend an average of one third of their net income on childcare costs - more than in any other OECD country.'
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