NDNA, the voice of the daycare sector, is backing a petition to make nurseries in England exempt from business rates and VAT.
Aims are to repeat the success of NDNA-led campaigning in Scotland where the Government recently agreed to scrap business rates for childcare providers.
The petition was set up by NDNA member Sue Johnson who is director of Scamps Ltd in Benson, Oxfordshire, and follows years of lobbying on the issue.
Purnima Tanuku, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “We urge the sector to fully support this petition by signing it, sharing it and bringing it to the attention of parents.
“Giving nurseries an exemption to business rates would make a huge difference to childcare businesses now struggling due to the added financial burden of delivering 30 hours expanded childcare.”
Purnima continued: “We have long campaigned for exemption, arguing that nurseries offer a social and economic good in providing good quality early years education and allowing parents to work.
“Rising business costs, including National Minimum Wage increases, mean many nurseries are struggling to stay in business and fees are rising for parents whose children don’t qualify for free hours.”
Scotland’s exemption from April 2018 was granted following a petition by NDNA member Stephanie Dodds and a groundswell of campaigning from NDNA and the sector.
The Welsh Government is also ahead of England, currently holding a consultation on the issue to which NDNA will submit evidence.
Many nurseries have seen business rate bill rises of 50% or more this year.
In NDNA’s latest Annual Nursery Survey, 51% of nurseries in England said that removing business rates costs would help them enormously with their sustainability.
Becoming zero VAT rated would make a real difference to many nursery costs from resources and equipment to building extensions.
To sign the petition go here.