Childcare Fees to be Cut in Henley
19th March 2013
The cost of childcare is a political hot potato – but one Henley-on-Thames provider has taken the unusual step of cutting fees to give struggling mums and dads a chance to benefit from savings of up to £2,730 a year.
Manager Julie Crake at The Old Station Nursery’s Henley-on-Thames setting – which was acquired by the group in January this year – is cutting the rates from April to increase numbers and offer parents struggling to cope with higher living costs a lifeline. Currently, there is a flat rate of £59.50 for all ages (nought to five years old) for a full day or £37.50 for a half-day session.
Now the setting will introduce a scaling system to reflect the fact that looking after older children is slightly cheaper because of the lower staff ratios needed. Sessions for nought-to- three year olds will be cut by £2.50 for a full day and by £8.50 for a half-day. The rate for children from the age of three to five has dropped by £4.50 for a full day to just £55, while a half day had been reduced by £10.50 to just £27.
A family with a three-to-five year old child attending nursery for half day sessions every day could save £2,730 a year, while the younger ages could save £2,210 a year on a part-time place. Savings for full time places range from £650 to £2,730 across the age groups.
Julie said: “We reviewed the rates as they were laid out when we took over Henley in January and as a result we’ve taken the decision to reduce fees for all age groups. We felt that the previous arrangement wasn’t very flexible and didn’t recognise the fact that it is slightly cheaper to care for older children than babies, as staff ratios are lower.
“We also want to open the nursery up and promote the Government-funded sessions for three and four year olds – and some two year olds – which we currently don’t have much take-up on.
“People in the industry say that fees have gone up by an average of six per cent this year, yet here you have a local nursery company which has actually cut fees.”
Visit www.theoldstationnursery.co.uk for more on the setting.
Notes to editors:
- Sarah Steel set up The Old Station Nursery in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, in 2002 when she left the army and was unable to find suitable childcare for her two children.
- The Old Station Nursery group has 10 settings in total in Lincolnshire Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Nottinghamshire and Buckinghamshire.