New CPI Data Confirms Childcare Costs Are On The Rise
27 January 2023 – New CPI figures reveal out of pocket childcare costs have risen by 5.8 per cent over the past six months, the highest jump in more than a decade.
While early childhood education and care costs over the past year have fallen, due to the lingering impact of the March 2022 childcare subsidy changes for a second child, the cost increases over the past six months have almost wiped out the gains.
National polling released earlier this week shows 91 per cent of parents in regional Australia believe childcare costs have skyrocketed over the past three years, compared with 86 per cent of respondents in metropolitan regions.
Jay Weatherill, Director of Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five initiative, said, “The new CPI figures show childcare affordability remains a key issue for families with young children across Australia.
“High out-of-pocket childcare costs in conjunction with rising interest rates put a strain on family budgets, limit choices, make it harder for parents to return to work and prevent children from accessing the lifelong benefits of high-quality early learning.
“The Federal Government estimates its increase in the child care subsidy from July 1 will mean 1.26 million families are better off and free up an additional 37,000 full-time equivalent workers.
“This is a massive step forward for increasing access to affordable, quality early learning, but we need more action.
“Early learning is critical for a child’s mental and social development, with impacts on lifelong learning and wellbeing. Young children who attend high quality early learning facilities are shown to be healthier, have better educational outcomes and are more productive over their lifetimes.
“Thrive by Five calls on the Federal Government to abolish the activity test for subsidised childcare. Abolishing this test would ensure that children and their families have greater access to early learning that positively supports their development and continued learning
“Thrive by Five also urges the Federal and state governments to work together on delivering free three-year old preschool nationwide so every child can access learning in their early years, regardless of their postcode or their family circumstance,” he said.