Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Average UK rents falls
New data has shown that the average UK rent has fallen for the first time in over seven years, mirroring a similar fall in the housing market.
The latest rental index from HomeLet revealed that the average monthly rent on a new tenancy that started in May was £901, down 0.03 per cent from £904 in 2016 - the first decline since December 2009.
More startlingly, the average new rent in London has fallen by three per cent in a year, from £1,572 a month in July 2016 to £1,502 in May 2017 - representing a rough difference of £70.
Nationwide Building Society recently revealed that housing prices had fallen in each of the past three months.
Martin Totty, HomeLet’s chief executive officer, said: “May 2017 saw average rents nationally fall for the first time in eight years when the economy had suffered the shock of the financial crisis. HomeLet rental data suggests landlords are now facing a difficult balancing act between ensuring rents are affordable for tenants in a low real wage growth environment whilst covering their own rising costs.
“Tenants will still need a vibrant and growing rented sector to provide them with property options at the time of their choosing. Any constraint to the supply of rental properties, because landlords are unable to achieve the reasonable returns they require, cannot be in the long term best interests of tenants, especially if, as we’ve now heard from all the main political parties, the UK’s population continues to grow.”