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The average nursery fee across the UK has risen to £5,103 per child this year – with two siblings accounting for over a quarter of the £40,000 average income of two working parents. The figure represents an increase of 5.8% from last year’s £4,832.

The Institute for Public Policy Research, reveals that these fee increases are preventing more than a million women from taking up paid work. They have called for the Government to follow Denmark’s policy of guaranteed entitlement to high-quality childcare, with a cap on fees and subsidies for poorer families.

According to the IPPR, it could be funded by freezing child benefit for 10 years and withdrawing winter fuel allowance and free TV licences from better-off pensioners, which would raise £4.2billion a year.

Childcare minister Elizabeth Truss praised the system in Holland, where rules on the ratio of childminders
to children have been relaxed.

IPPR boss Nick Pearce stated: “We would do better to look to Denmark, which spends only a slightly greater share of its national income on children and families than Britain, but devotes a much greater proportion to parental leave and childcare.”

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