Cost of childcare rises to almost $200 a day

Families feel the pinch

Content Editor / February 06 2019

The cost of sending a child to long day care has soared to around $200 at some centres in Sydney, a new report shows.

High rental costs for centres, government red tape and staff-to-child ratios are all being blamed for the rising costs, according to a report from Nine News.

In the ACT, the average cost in the city is $560 a week for 50 hours of care, with Sydney coming in close behind at $494 for 50 hours of care.

getty images

getty images

The median weekly cost for 50 hours of long day care has increased by 2.8 percent from 2017, with the national average sitting at $460 a week.

The cheapest state for childcare is Queensland, with the median sitting at $417 – still a high fee by any standards. In Victoria it’s $490, WA is $475 and SA is $458.

The peak body for childcare in NSW has called for an urgent government inquiry into the soaring costs of childcare.

getty images

getty images

Sydney Mum Joelle Peterson, has a son aged four in long day care three or four days a week.

She pays around $900 a month out of pocket for his fees after Government rebates such as the childcare subsidy have been added.

“It’s basically like a small mortgage,” she says. “Daniel’s day care fees are our biggest expense after rent and groceries. I am looking forward to him starting school next year when things hopefully won’t be so tight.”

The mother of two added that while she didn’t like to think about how little money she comes out with each week after she’s paid for day care fees, that she enjoys working and feels it’s important to keep her skills current.

“We don’t have any family nearby so for the moment, day care is our only option,” she added.

“But even if I wasn’t working, day care or preschool is important for socialisation before kids start school."

Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.

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