How much child care costs are soaring in your suburb

"OUT of control" child care costs are continuing to rise under a new subsidy scheme, as the industry warns there is more hip-pocket pain to come.

Fees even for some parents on the highest discount are hundreds of dollars more than they were 12 months ago.

Prices are expected substantially rise again later this year with a review of child care worker wages anticipated in the coming months.

The cost increases are biting now as parents return to work and scramble to find extra care for their children until school returns.

SCROLL DOWN FOR A BREAKDOWN OF CHILDCARE COSTS

 

Parents are paying hundreds of dollars more for child care in many parts of Brisbane. Picture: Thinkstock
Parents are paying hundreds of dollars more for child care in many parts of Brisbane. Picture: Thinkstock

Education Minister Dan Tehan flagged there would be more action to be announced soon to crackdown on excessive fee increases by rogue operators.

The annual cost of sending a single child to care is now hitting higher than $16,000 a year in the inner city and parts of Brisbane's south, before rebates are applied.

Parents are forking out hundreds to thousands of dollars more, depending on where they live and how much they earn, just covering the increased costs applied by providers since the subsidy started on July 2, 2018.

The subsidy covers up to 85 per cent of the fee depending on a family's the household income.

Education Department date from September 2018 to September 2019 showed child care costs rose 4.2 per cent on average from $9.50/hour to $9.90/hr in that time.

But Nathan/Mt Gravatt was the most expensive in the state - topping $17,000 a year pre-subsidy for one child in care for 31.6 hours a week, 48 weeks of the year.

Parents there were also hit with a 12.5 per cent increase, with parents still paying $2600 a year after an 85 per cent subsidy.

 

 

Families in Nundah, Nathan, Outback Queensland and Bundaberg on the full 85 per cent discount were paying $200 a year more out-of-pocket in September, compared to a year earlier.

Those in the Central Highlands, including Emerald, Springsure and Blackwater, were hit with the highest increase of $400 a year more out-of-pocket after the full discount.

Queensland Council of Social Services boss Mark Henley said child care was becoming unaffordable for many families.

"For someone on minimum wage there's a decision to be made as to whether it's more costly to have a job and put kids in child care, or if you're saving money by staying at home," he said.

Australian Childcare Association vice-president Nesha Hutchinson said profit margins were falling as rent and wage increases put pressure on centres.

"When they're putting up prices they don't want to gouge families, they're just trying to remain financially viable," she said.

Education Minister Dan Tehan said most parents were paying less out-of-pocket now compared to before the new subsidy scheme started. Picture: AAP Image/Rohan Thomson
Education Minister Dan Tehan said most parents were paying less out-of-pocket now compared to before the new subsidy scheme started. Picture: AAP Image/Rohan Thomson

 

Despite the increased costs, Mr Tehan said many families were still paying less out of pocket now than they were before the new subsidy system started.

"During the September quarter 2019, 58,690 Queensland families using Centre Based Day Care had out of pocket costs of less than $2 an hour per child," he said.

He said another 152,000 families were paying $5 an hour per child, while the Australian Bureau of Statistics found out-of-pocket costs were 5.6 per cent lower than before the new system started.

Opposition early childhood education spokeswoman Amanda Rishworth said child care fees in Queensland were "out of control".

"The Morrison Government promised their new child care system would bring down fees, but they have failed," Ms Rishworth said.

Upper Caboolture mum Christine McCosker, 26, works part-time in administration.

She said up to 20 per cent of their household income each week goes towards childcare fees.

"I deliberately don't work full time hours because it wouldn't be worth the cost of daycare," she said.

"If childcare was to cost any more I probably wouldn't work at all and just stay home with the kids.

"It almost feels like the harder you work the more you have to pay to put your kids in day care."



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