I canâ€™t find where Labour got its number from but it looks about right. If you have a child under 2 in 25 hours of childcare you will be spending Â£5-6K a year, more in London. These bills have been increasing by 5% or more a year for a decade. The Family and Childcare Trust have been tracking childcare bills methodically since 2001. They say in their latest report for 2013:
A nursery place for a child aged two or under is now 77 per cent more expensive in real terms than it was in 2003, with similar rates of increase for children cared for by childminders. An after-school club is now 88 per cent more expensive in real terms than it was in 2003.
These are big bills, painful and rising fast to be sure. But their graph (on page 11) tells the story â€“ a straight upward line. It was no different under Labour. There is an active political debate around this topic but it is clear that there is nothing new about this. Labourâ€™s solution seems to be make it all go away by having government paying the bills, for those over 2 at least. Not sure how that will tackle the root problem of spiralling labour costs (77% of nursery costs are labour). It will merely nationalise it.