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January 25th, 2022

The Parenthood: New CPI Data Reveals Childcare Costs Soar by 6.5% in Past Year and Helps Drive Cost of Living for Parents.

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The Parenthood: New CPI Data Reveals Childcare Costs Soar by 6.5% in Past Year and Helps Drive Cost of Living for Parents

25 January 2022 – Out of pocket early learning and care costs have risen 6.5% over the past year, the latest CPI figures confirms. Leading the charge in the past year was Perth (8.6% increase), Sydney (8%) and Brisbane (6.5%).

Out of pocket child care costs (after the child care subsidy) have risen by a staggering 14.7 per cent since the last Federal election in 2019, providing a key driver of inflation and a hit to household budgets.

For a family with an income of $120,000 using early learning and care five days a week at $115 a day, that represents an increase in out of pocket costs of $616 in a year [1].

Georgie Dent, Executive Director of The Parenthood, said the figures released today showed government policies to make early learning and childcare more affordable have fallen short.

“Australia has some of the highest early learning and care costs in the world and today’s figures confirm these costs continue to soar for too many families.

“Out of pocket child care costs have risen by 6.5% over the past year locking families in a  vice of ever-increasing  fees that strain household budgets and act as a brake on workforce participation by parents.

“Given Australian parents already pay some of the highest fees in the world, this jump is catastrophic. It is vital for children, families and the economy that the Federal government recognises the unaffordability of early learning and care and addresses.

“The CPI  figures  don’t include the fee hikes that some services have implemented at the start of the early learning year.

“The burden of early learning and care fees force too many working families into terrible choices, including discouraging women from going back to work and stopping
young children from early learning programs that are crucial for their early development.

“We know the children most likely to be locked out of early learning by cost restraints are also those that would most likely benefit most from its benefits, compounding inequity.

“Early learning and care will be a key issue for parents at the upcoming Federal election, with parents wanting commitment from all parties to it becoming more affordable and accessible.

“Australia must urgently invest in universal access to high quality, affordable and accessible early learning and care,” Ms Dent said.

ABS CPI data available here: 
https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/economy/price-indexes-and-inflation/consumer-price-index-australia/dec-2021

A not-for-profit organisation, The Parenthood is Australia’s leading parent advocacy group with a reach of more than 72,000 parents from across Australia.