First the crisis. Then the Godsend. Now, another setback.
When Caitlin lost her job as a marketing executive, her household income halved, and the exorbitant cost of childcare was no longer feasible.
But when the Government announced all childcare bills would be picked up by them, it not only reduced their family’s bills, but allowed Caitlin the freedom to actively build her own business, focus on a new degree and look for a new job.
“At this point, I am not making any money. But I have time,” Caitlin, who has since started her own digital marketing and consulting business, shares with Mamamia.
She and her husband have two children, aged two and four, both of whom have stayed in childcare thanks to the subsidy scheme introduced by the federal government in early April.
Now, however, the Morrison Government has announced that free childcare will cease to exist from July 13. And Caitlin is one of thousands of parents facing the very real prospect of withdrawing their children from early childhood education because they simply cannot afford to keep going – an option they fear, because it will mean giving up their coveted spot to another family.
“Not to mention how much my kids genuinely love their preschool - the social and developmental aspect is very important to us. So we are trying to find money.”
Alas, there is little option.
“At this stage we’ll likely take out our two-year-old… His fees are the highest and we will keep the four-year-old in for his development. He goes to school in 18 months, and it’s important he keeps up the social interactions.”
Caitlin isn’t alone in making this difficult decision.
According to a recent survey of about 2,200 families by advocacy group The Parenthood, around one third of families have indicated that – just like Caitlin – they will have to pull their children out of childcare or reduce the hours upon the return of fees.