State Nurseries ‘Forcing Out Private Sector’

Private nurseries are being forced out of business due to an oversupply of places created by state-funded nurseries and day care centres, it was claimed yesterday.

As more government-funded centres are provided, some areas have too many places while others have none, with parents struggling to pay private nursery fees.

Nord Anglia, announced the sale of its 88 kindergartens for £31.2 million, having paid £73 million for them three years ago.

The Government is opening hundreds of children’s centres providing full day care. By 2010 there should be “one in every community”.

Kevin Griffiths, editor of Nursery and Childcare Market News, said: “The Government’s initiative has seen many settings open in areas with already adequate provision, creating an oversupply in certain areas that serves only to lower the effectiveness of provision across the board.

“More should be done by Government and local authorities to ensure that new provision does not encroach on existing settings.”