Cooloon Childcare’s Judy Radich (right) with colleague and toddlers.
Cooloon Childcare’s Judy Radich (right) with colleague and toddlers. Blainey Woodham

Childcare fees to rise

INCREASED carer to child ratios in NSW may see parents pay $13 more per child per day in childcare fees in some centres.

According to a new report by the Productivity Commission and the Australian Childcare Alliance childcare providers said their parents might even be hit by cost increases of $25 per child per day.

Lost places in centres due to the reforms were reported by 64.4% of respondents who said they would lose an average eight places per day in each centre.

The president of the Australian Childcare Alliance, Gwyn Bridge, said the findings of the draft report underscores what worried centre providers have been telling parents.

"Families are stretched," Ms Bridge said.

"Our parents can't afford any more increases and even if they could, the government's timelines are too tight to ensure successful implementation of the new standards from 1 January 2012.

"We must ensure that quality long-day childcare remains affordable for all families and we look forward to continuing to work with the government on behalf of our parents and children to achieve this aim."

Despite the increased costs, childcare providers are in agreement the new child to carer ratios will result in a positive early education experience.

Cooloon Children's Centre manager Judy Radich said this stage of a child's development and education was an important one.

"In the end the children will be the winners," Ms Radich said.

"The more staff there is, the better care can be given.

"We all know how important early childcare education is and I think it's easy to ask for government funding but there is already a 50% childcare rebate in place and that is huge.

"It's important that childcare centres provide quality care with highly-trained staff."

 

DID YOU KNOW?

The Australian Childcare Alliance represents 70% of the long day childcare sector and its staff care for more than 400,000 children

25% of centre providers in the Productivity Commission report said parents will be hit by cost increases of $25 per child per day

The introduction of the federal government's proposed National Quality Framework and the associated introduction of increased child to carer ratios will take place in January 2012



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