New CPI data shows 4.6% rise in cost of childcare fuels cost of living pressure for parents
27 April 2022 – Rising early education costs are fuelling cost of living pressure for families and locking parents out of work, with new data released today showing a 4.7% rise over the past year.
CPI rose by 5.1% overall in the past year to March 2022, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics pointing out underlying inflation is at its highest since 2009.
Thrive by Five Director Jay Weatherill said “Australians pay some of the highest costs for childcare in the world  and today’s figures confirm these costs continue to soar.
“Early childhood education and care is a key cost of living for families with young children.
“Too many families with young children are trapped in a vice of rising rents and soaring childcare costs, and not much room to move for some relief.
“Reducing the cost of high-quality childcare will free up family budgets, help address inflation and the impacts of potential interest rate rises, and support more parents to re-enter or stay in the labour market.
“Every child, regardless of their postcode or family circumstances, should have access to at least three days of quality, affordable early learning and care, starting as soon as parents want it.
“Making high-quality early learning and childcare accessible to all Australian families is our best chance at providing vital social infrastructure for families, growing the workforce and economy, and giving children the right start in life.
“Now is the time for all political parties to commit to universally accessible, high-quality early learning and education for all Australians,” Mr Weatherill said.
Consumer Price Index for March 2022 available here:
Thrive by Five’s eight key recommended early learning policy reforms are:
• Long-term Federal and State partnership to fund 15 hours per week of three year old pre-school;
• Long-term Federal and State partnership to fund 15 hours per week of four year old pre-school;
• Progressive increase in the childcare subsidy for first child to 95 per cent, starting with lifting the current subsidy to 90 per cent;
• Increase in the childcare subsidy for second or third children to 100 per cent;
• Make universal early learning system a formal National Cabinet priority;
• Improved workforce planning to fund appropriate pay and conditions for teachers and educators to end the problem of skill shortages, high vacancy rates and high turnover in the sector;
• Phase-in paid parental leave paid at the minimum wage for up to 12 months shared between parents/carers starting with an immediate move to 26 weeks of paid leave; and
• Universal access to maternal and child health care, with additional home visits for families needing extra support.
This publication is for information only concerning the position of Minderoo Foundation. For more detailed information please visit www.thrivebyfive.org.au