Sunday, 06 May 2018
The latest quarterly report on child care fees confirms what most families already know – child care fees continue to rise.
And on cue, Simon Birmingham is again giving himself a round of applause for presiding over higher costs. Families won’t be celebrating a 3.6 per cent increase in fees so it is a mystery why the minister would.
This routine is getting old.
Since the election of the Liberals, total child care fees have grown by 20 per cent in four years (to June 2017).
The cost of long day care, the type of child care most people use, has shot up 18 per cent – which is average growth of 5 per cent.
When the Liberals were elected in September 2013, families paid on average $11,700 for a year of care (30 hours a week, and before government subsidies are applied).
In June 2017, they paid $13,884.
That is $78 more since the March Quarter Figures.
In three months families are paying $78 more on average to access early childhood education and more than they were three months prior.
For those families who access Long Day Care, the figures are higher and there are more parents who access this for longer.
And the Minister would have families believe he deserves a pat on the back.
As families continue to pay more for child care, from 2 July, 279,000 families will be worse off under the Turnbull Government’s new childcare policy.
Even then, it’s still not good news the with Government figures confirming fees are projected to keep going up 6 per cent a year.
If the Turnbull Government were serious about providing a quality early childhood education they would heed Labor’s calls and commit to long term funding for four year olds preschool.
Labor has a proud history in early education and child care reform.
In Government, Labor took action to reduce the financial burden of child care on families. We increased the child care rebate from 30 to 50 per cent of out of pocket costs, and increased the cap to $7,500. We invested $970 million to create universal access to preschool for four year olds in partnership with the States and Territories.