Heather Kelly is frustrated. The pharmacy student and single mum-of-two is keen to go back to work. But the high cost of childcare is making it unviable.
“I was offered a full-time pharmacy assistant job,” Kelly tells Mamamia. “Even on a decent amount of money, by the time daycare fees are factored in, I am honestly better off staying at home on Centrelink, looking after my kids.
“It’s frustrating as you want to set a good example of working for a living to your children, but realistically, I can’t return to work until my kids start school, because school is much cheaper than daycare.”
Kelly, who lives in Coffs Harbour, NSW, has two daughters, one aged two and the other eight months. The local childcare centre charges her $58 a day for her two-year-old and $61 for her baby.
“This amount is after my childcare benefit and rebate I get from the Government,” she adds. “These are the exorbitant prices I pay under my circumstances.”
The struggle for parents of young kids – especially single parents – is real. A national survey has shown that the cost of childcare for families has almost doubled in just over a decade.