Childcare costs set to rise, yet again.

Every year I pay the equivalent of half a house deposit in childcare.

The prospect of adding to my childcare bill is the best contraceptive method going around my house.

If my husband and I have another child, that’s it for me and work. We simply will not be able to afford for me to leave the house each day and have my children in an early childhood education centre.

I am not alone. There are thousands and thousands of families in exactly this position and many others who face even greater difficulties in balancing their budgets and caring for their children.

This is problematic on three levels. Firstly, time out of the workforce has a significant impact for the primary carer’s (usually the mother) in terms of future earnings and superannuation contributions.

Secondly, children miss out on the critical early childhood education opportunities found in childcare.

Childcare offers children essential early learning opportunities.

Thirdly, working parents are essential for Australia’s economic future. Research conducted by Ernst and Young shows that mothers working part time are the most productive participants in the work force. That is, they work harder and smarter. Working mothers are the best hires you can ask for.

The Courier Mail are reporting today that childcare fees are expected to rise by $10 a day per child next year.

The expected rise in childcare costs is being attributed to better staff to child ratios in centres. The smaller staff to child ratios is a measure of the National Quality Framework, and is considered key to continued better outcomes in childcare.

So I was pretty surprised to hear that the Federal Government announce that funds originally promised to families for childcare will instead be used to help fund a tax cut for small business.


Parent lobby group The Parenthood says parents strongly value quality when it comes to childcare. Parents want qualified staff and they want more one-on-one attention for their children.

Parents' key childcare concern is quality.

“In an exclusive survey conducted by The Parenthood last year, 97% of the over 3000 parents who responded said they would not send their child to a centre with less qualified educators and lower ratios,” said Jo Briskey, The Parenthood’s Executive Director.

I don’t expect to pay nothing for childcare. I know that having a child is a choice and that with that choice there comes costs. But many families do not have much more fat to trim from their budgets, and they remain committed to ensuring their children get access to quality early childhood education and childcare.

The Parenthood is campaigning calling on the Prime Minister to make sure he keeps his promise on childcare funding. You can help them out here.

We have reached out to Scott Morrison, the Minister responsible for childcare, to ask him about childcare funding and quality. However at the time of publishing we had not heard back. When we do, we’ll update to let you know his response.

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