For families using family day care services, the average time spent here weekly is 27 hours. The proportion of Victorian children aged five and younger attending daycare was just below the national average, at 43.6 percent, compared to 45.1 percent across Australia. Even so, the cost was listed as the reason why 29 percent of Victorian parents whose children were not in child care did not use these services last year. Of course, this is only an approximate average, as some families use their weekly hours in maybe three or four days, rather than doing it equally on all five.
Because of the many moving parts, it's a good idea to first familiarize yourself with the various child care rates, along with your eligibility for child care subsidy before deciding which child care option to use. National surveys of parents with young children present a more accurate picture of the difficulties and consequences of high out-of-pocket costs for child care. The increase is mainly due to costs and assistance recovering from lows during COVID lockdowns, but serves as a useful reminder that high child care costs are hurting Australian families. ABS estimates that rising child care prices will add 0.3 percentage points to the overall CPI increase in the December quarter.
Child care spending varies widely, depending on the amount of care a family uses, the number of children they are caring for, the hourly or daily rate charged by the provider, and the amount of government subsidy the family qualifies for (this depends on family income, because the care subsidy is tested). The cost will vary depending on the number of hours you would like your child to attend, the area in which you live, and the child care provider you have chosen. More than 90,000 Australian parents, including nearly 21,000 Victorians, remained out of the workforce last year because the cost of childcare was too high. Currently, all children in Australia are entitled to universal access, which consists of 15 hours of preschool every week (600 hours for one year) free of charge.
Federal opposition early childhood education spokeswoman Amanda Rishworth said Victorian parents “know that child care costs are out of control. Making childcare more affordable is one of the best things the federal government could do to boost workforce participation and help recovery from COVID. Georgie Dent, executive director of advocacy group The Parenthood, said that child care costs in Australia were the fourth highest in the OECD, while its tax system penalized people with secondary incomes in a family, usually women. This year, up to 1,000 children and their families attending Goodstart centers will receive much-needed fee relief for a minimum of two days of early learning and care each week, thanks to the Early Learning Fund.