No room at the inn for children in London

2004

The shortage of child care for working parents in London is now so acute that there is only one place for every five pre-school children, according to a report in the Evening Standard.

The cost of care – if you can find it – will astonish those not familiar with London's cost of living. How do fees of £880 a month grab you?

Worse, still, the Standard says that that the Government has wasted some of the £14billion it has invested in childcare by creating places that are not viable and later close.

Fewer than half of childminders, playgroups and day nurseries cover their costs, and many do not know how many places they must fill to break even. Only 50 per cent know what they are going to do when their start-up funding runs out, the survey found.