The childcare sector is growing and growing, and there are many reasons for this growth. Parents are keen to get back to work after childbirth but are less and less able to rely on families to provide childcare. And although the number of under fives is forecast to decline over the next few years, the childcare sector those wanting to return to work more than make up for the reduction.
In addition the increasingly-level second salary now coming in to households means that families are able to pay more than they used to for that nursery care. The burden of mortgages and so on means this amount is not an open purse, but all of these factors make nursery owning a good opportunity.
There has been a noticeable increase over the last three decades in the number of jobs in the UK filled by women: in March 2008, both men and women filled similar
numbers of jobs -- around 13.6 million each -- compared with 1985 when men filled two million more jobs than women. In the second quarter of 2008, the employment rate ran at 70% for women. More and more women are choosing to have children only when they have progressed further in their careers and have achieved higher financial status.
When it comes to childcare there are only limited possibilities for most parents: nannies, childminders, playgroups, and nurseries – and they all come in various different flavours. Of these nannies are the most expensive as they will provide one to one care but the advantage is that they come to the parents home. Next are childminders, who are cheaper than nannies. They use their own home and are registered by the local authority. Playgroups, which are only really regarded as temporary arrangements, are normally operated in morning or afternoon sessions and are generally limited to children aged three to five, plus they often involve parents who provide part of the care.
With nurseries there are three types: local authority, workplace and private day nurseries. Local authority day nurseries are rare, but offer full day care. Local authority nursery schools which are also quite rare and which offer care for three to four-year-olds for mornings or afternoons only. Workplace nurseries, which operate as private day nurseries for children of employees of a particular company and are also quite rare. Then finally there are private day nurseries, which offer full day care (often from 8.00am to 6.00pm or beyond) to children aged three months to five years. This type of nursery is the subject of the article.