Minimum wage increase to put nursery sector under pressure

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When the minimum wage increases to £7.20 an hour for over 25s in April 2016 nursery owners will be negatively affected, according to research conducted by the NDNA.

Without increased funding for free places owners could be forced to take on less qualified or younger staff to maintain a manageable wage bill.

Fees will also need to be raised with nurseries anticipating a 10% increase in costs for parents.

A recent survey of 300 small to medium sized nurseries found that wage bills will be pushed up by 10% come April, and 35% from April 2020.

The chief executive of the NDNA worries for nurseries and their ability to recruit and keep their staff following the minimum wage rise,

‘Most nurseries will have to increase all staff wages to keep their pay differentials and incentives for qualified staff or risk losing practitioners.”

“Some qualified under-25s will find themselves paid less than unqualified 25-year-olds, which just isn’t fair – but many employers will not be able to find extra funds to rectify this situation, so fear their business will suffer because well-qualified staff will leave.”

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