I EXPECT that in a day or two the issue of rising childcare costs will appear in the Hartlepool Mail.
To pre-empt it, I can’t help but ask what rise in childcare costs?
I have been a registered childminder since September 2004 and my hourly rate has not gone up by one single penny in that whole time.
Don’t get me wrong, with rising heating and lighting, diesel and food costs, it’s not that I haven’t needed to put up my rate to keep my home-based business afloat but, instead, I have had to slash costs wherever possible while striving to maintain the quality of my provision.
In truth, there’s not much left to slash and I am sure this is true for the majority of other registered childminders.
It doesn’t help that the Government, in its infinite wisdom, decided to impoverish hard-working, low income parents by reducing the childcare element of the working tax credit.
So, yet again, I am still prevented from earning a decent income because I personally consider it unconscionable to strike a further blow to my parents’ wallets when their own energy and food expenses have equally risen.
How long my service can remain sustainable without a fee increase is questionable. But I do find it more than a little infuriating when the press incites consternation towards a very low paid, but ever so dedicated, childcare workforce.