An article in relation to how the affects if the rise in child care as well as parents demand in jobs working longer hours, more commuting has resulted in many parents choosing to send the children to boarding school – as it is cheaper than hiring a nanny. A very interesting article in relation to the changing times for families.
- Rising numbers of young children are being sent to boarding schools as recession-hit parents are forced to work longer hours in the downturn
- almost 14,000 pupils aged seven to 13 are boarding at private preparatory schools in Britain this year – an increase of more than five per cent in just 12 months.
- More schools are building additional boarding facilities to cater for rising demand among parents
- parents are attracted by “the value of the experience”, insisting it promotes greater independence among children and develops social and organisational skills.
- The number of young girls choosing to board this year alone has soared by almost a fifth to just under 6,000.
- rise may be driven by the economic climate, with mothers and fathers forced to work increasingly long hours to make ends meet.
- David Hanson, chief executive of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS), said many families saw boarding as a cheaper alternative to hiring a full-time nanny.
- Some parents are also attracted by the rise in “flexi-boarding” – flexible arrangements that allow children to stay for few nights a week without making a full-time commitment.
- Wycliffe College’s prep school in Gloucestershire opened a new 84-bed boarding house last year to cope with increased demand. Adrian Palmer, the headmaster, told the Times Educational Supplement: “The credit crunch has meant parents are under greater work pressures with long hours, or have to relocate with their careers.”
- 13,945 pupils are boarding at schools belonging to the IAPS this year, compared with 13,178 in 2010.
- 218 schools now have boarding facilities, compared with 204 a year earlier.
- The average prep school charges an average of just over £18,000-a-year for full-time boarding. By comparison, senior schools charge almost £25,000.
- Boarding is believed to be much cheaper than many forms of childcare, with a full-time nanny in parts of the south-east costing as much as £40,000 after tax.
Mr Hanson said: “Busy professionals are realising the benefits of sending their children to these schools, which offer excellent facilities, healthcare, education and social environments, that can give them complete peace of mind, rather than paying for a nanny of uncertain quality. Paying a nanny is terrifying expensive. You don’t tend to think about it at the time as you pay it in monthly or weekly chunks, but when you calculate it over the year you’re staggered by how much you’ve spent.”
- Some families send children to board for just one or two nights a week – often coinciding with extra-curricular activities at the school – even if they live just a few miles away