You may have heard on the news that a number of nurseries and childminders across the country are sadly having to close their doors, after being left financially unsustainable due to the 30 hour funded childcare. Although Tops Day Nurseries have no intention of closing any of our nurseries, we fully support others within our sector with ways of becoming sustainable.
One of the ways we can do this is by stopping business rates for childcare providers, as they are in Scotland.
Childcare providers have recently seen a huge increase in business rates for day nurseries, which are rated higher than offices for example, and seem subject to the VOA doubling and trebling values from this year for no apparent reason. Nurseries also have to pay VAT on purchases that they are unable to reclaim. Schools have their rates refunded and can get their VAT back.
With the arrival of the Government scheme to offer 30 hours funded childcare to parents, the minimum funding leaves the childcare provider liable to make up the shortfall. Nurseries have had to increase fees, add an additional extras or ‘top-up’ fees and/or make other changes to their pricing structures. Early years staff are unable to have the pay rises they deserve because of the double whammy of underfunding and higher taxes.
The removal of business rates & a zero VAT rating would enable providers to continue to provide the services required. Higher wages for staff and cheaper childcare for parents is a shared goal across the entire childcare sector, so please show your support by signing the petition here.