The Morrison Government today publishes the December 2018 quarter child care data broken down by region so families can see if their child care fees are cheaper or more expensive compared to the local market.
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said parents could use the detailed data in conjunction with the Child Care Finder website to get a picture of average child care cost and fee growth in their area and across the nation.
“We will continue to publish child care price data by region every quarter so parents know how their child care provider compares to others in their area,” Mr Tehan said.
“We want parents to have a clear picture of where they can access quality, affordable child care in their local area.
“Almost 1.37 million children used child care in the December quarter, with the Morrison Government providing $1.96 billion to assist more than 900,000 families,” Mr Tehan said.
“Under the new system there are limits on the amount of subsidy the Government will pay per hour to help place downward pressure on fees. The latest data shows that 89 per cent of centre-based day care services have an average hourly charge that is lower than the Government’s hourly rate cap.
“Because of the Morrison Government’s Child Care Subsidy out-of-pocket child care costs for families are down by 7.9 per cent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Consumer Price Index.
“Out-of-pocket expenses for 75 per cent of parents with children in centre-based day care is around $50 for a full day of care. Around 200,000 pay just $2 per hour, or $20 for a full day of care.”
Parts of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Brisbane and some mining regions had the most expensive day care in the country, however fees in those regions had changed very little between December 2017 and December 2018.
“Our Child Care Subsidy was introduced to assist parents with the cost of child care while they’re working, training, studying or volunteering,” Mr Tehan said.
“Based on their activity, the vast majority of families who use child care are entitled to 72 hours or more of subsidised care per fortnight, and most families are entitled to a subsidy of 50 per cent or higher, and I encourage all eligible families to apply and keep their details up to date.
“I encourage parents to visit the new Child Care Finder website at www.childcarefinder.gov.au for information on local services, including fees, vacancy, and quality rating information.
“Parents can also use a new feature on the Child Care Finder website that will notify them when a potential vacancy becomes available at their provider of choice.”
The Government today also publishes the Australian Institute of Family Studies’ Early Monitoring Report that investigated the introduction of the Child Care Subsidy on 2 July 2018, using data collected from May to November 2018.
“This report is the first of a number of comprehensive evaluations of the introduction of the Child Care Subsidy, with further reports between now and 2021,” Mr Tehan said.
“The report found sixty-six per cent of services agreed or strongly agreed that their service was prepared for the changes. Among services who had used particular supports to prepare for the transition, around 80 per cent felt it was helpful for each of the government-based services and 90 per cent for own organisation/sector/peak support.
“The report found that 67 per cent of families agreed or strongly agreed that the transition to the new Child Care Package was relatively seamless.”
The report is available on the Australian Institute of Family Studies’ website.