Daycare 1 Lord Patten 0

Interesting comment from Lord Patten, Chancellor of Oxford University, last week (hat tip Reform media summary). He argued that “It is preposterous that we can only charge for teaching an undergraduate less than half the cost than those who do the teaching would have to pay for creche facilities for their own children.” I agree that our universities need an injection of cash – and realistically this will come from fees given the coming squeeze in public spending. But I’m not sure he’s right to pick on daycare providers. Small group teaching accounts for just 1.5 hours of teaching per week in our universities (although this figure will admittedly be higher at Oxford). In day care centres, however, you’ll get 25 hours of small group care for your cash. Which one’s value for money?