Wearing her Community Services hat Joy Burch has announced that all is sweetness and light in the world of childcare:
An ACT Government survey of childcare centres across Canberra has found there has been a net growth of childcare places in 2012, and minimal cost increases, with the implementation of the National Quality Framework.
The Community Services Directorate contacted 108 ACT services providing long day care in December and January to gauge how the sector was transitioning to the national standards.
The data gathering exercise found the number of places for children under two being offered in 2012 is 1938, up from 1909 in 2012. Also, the number of places for children over two in 2012 is 5003, up from 4837 in 2011.
The survey also found that the average fee per day charged by centres this year was $85.17, compared with $83.22 in 2011. Many centres’ prices remained unchanged, although some indicated that their prices were reviewed at the end of financial years. Most increases were in the order of $2 day, which is consistent with a CPI increase.
ACT Minister for Community Services said the data was an encouraging sign that the work the ACT Government had done in partnership with the sector in the preceding two years had positioned it well to adjust to the new standards, including the $60 million Supporting Quality Early Childhood Education and Care package funded in the 2011-12 ACT Budget.
We’d be interested to know if parents among our readers share this rosy view.