Childcare could be put under increased pressure if plans to raise Ofsted registration fees go ahead, according to a childminder agency.

The Department for Education (DfE) announced in July 2019 that inflation increases would see Ofsted fees increase by up to 23%.

But Yoopies has called for Ofsted registration fees to be scrapped, claiming that the childcare sector is already experiencing “insurmountable” problems.

Francesca Chong, manager of Yoopies UK, said: “It is clear that new measures must be put in place to avoid a crisis.

“Instead of putting prices up, I would call for Ofsted to consider scrapping the registration fee altogether and subsidise the cost of registration fully.

The agency said that currently the annual renewal fees for part time childminders is £35, although this could increase to £43 from April 2021.

It also said that childcare facilities could be charged £269, £49 more than what it currently costs.

But DfE said it is investing £3.5 billion into childcare this year and want children to “have the best start in life”.

A spokesperson said: “Ofsted’s registration fees for early years providers have not increased since 2010.

“We recognise the sector may need time to adjust to any proposed increase next year, which is why we are engaging with them now, as well as seeking views on what a new fee model should look like from April 2021.”

However, Yoopies said that traditional childcare businesses are finding it difficult to stay open due to rising costs and reduced funding allocations.

It said this is resulting in closures and a reduced number of compromises on the quality of care being given to children.

Benjamin Suchar, CEO of Yoopies, said: “We’ve noticed a big difference between the average price of care on our UK site vs our other sites in France, Spain and Germany.

“Even after tax subsidies, parents can expect to pay more than double than that of their European counterparts.”

Currently Yoopies is working alongside HMRC and other local authorities to integrate schemes such as Tax-Free childcare into their booking and payment system.

It called on the Government to form a collaboration to help improve childcare subsidies.

Ms Chong said: “HMRC is already successfully taking steps to become one of the most digitalised tax services in the world, why not extend this to other departments in government such as DfE?”