Childcare fees jump nationwide

Family Finances
Date
Childcare takes more cash as fees rise around Australia.

Childcare takes more cash as fees rise around Australia.

Childcare fees around Australia have leapt 11 per cent in the past year to more than $70 a day on average, according to a union’s analysis of government figures.

This fee increase is more evidence the childcare funding system is failing and is placing children, parents and educators under severe strain 

Releasing its 2011-2012 childcare fees report on Sunday, childcare workers union United Voice said that while the charges go up, 180 educators a week are leaving the sector because of low wages and poor working conditions

‘‘Families need affordable, quality early childhood education and care with a professional workforce to deliver it," United Voice’s Sue Lines said.

The union’s report showed that in the 12 months to April 2012, childcare fees rose from an average of $63.21 to $70.29 a day.

Tasmania had the heftiest increase, an average of 16 per cent to $73.62 a day.

Overall, the ACT topped the list for the most expensive childcare at $82.43 a day, up nine per cent.

NSW ($68.31) was most affordable, but had had an 11.3 per cent increase since 2011.

Victoria was the second-most expensive, with fees of $74.95 (up 14 per cent), followed by the Northern Territory at $72.39 (up 15 per cent).

‘‘This massive fee increase is more evidence the childcare funding system is failing and is placing children, parents and educators under severe strain,’’ Lines said.

‘‘The funding model introduced by the Howard government is broken. It’s time for a new funding system because without renewed government intervention the crisis can only worsen.’’

The study collated fees at childcare centres in a sample of 71 postcodes across all states and territories.

The federal government provides a 50 per cent childcare rebate for working parents, capped at $7,500 a year.

Some 782,000 families receive the rebate, which isn't means tested.

AAP

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