Nurseries feel the recession pinch

Nearly 900 nurseries and playgroups shut last year, according to an Ofsted report.

Nearly 900 nurseries and playgroups shut last year, according to an Ofsted report.

It says the number of nurseries and playgroups on its official register fell from 27,866 in December 2008 to 26,985 in December 2009.

The Daycare Trust said rising nurseries prices and the impact of the recession were to blame. Some campaign groups have said the introduction of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum might be a factor.

Meanwhile, the Observer has reported that Conservative ministers have been telling nursery providers they will be allowed to charge supplementary fees, at least temporarily, if the party wins the election. The Daycare Trust says that this would mean the end of the current system whereby parents of three- and four-year-olds are guaranteed a free nursery place and has urged politicians to confirm that free places would be protected. The charity 4Children has warned the policy could lead to a two-tier system of nurseries. Read more





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