Childcare prices rise in line with inflation, but shortage of free early education worsens
Working parents are offered a brief respite from steeply rising childcare costs, as our 2016 Childcare Survey shows average prices rose just above inflation throughout Britain for the first time in eight years. But more councils this year reported gaps for free early education places for three and four year olds.
In England we were concerned to see the number of local authorities reporting a lack of places for three and four year olds double, while Scotland saw childcare prices rising well above the rate of inflation and outpacing those seen across the rest of Britain. In Wales, nursery prices saw the biggest increases, while not a single Welsh local authority reported enough childcare for families in rural areas.