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Everything OK for childcare?

By 20 February 2012 11

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.

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11 Responses to Everything OK for childcare?
#1
Myles Peterson1:09 pm, 20 Feb 12

That’s nice, Joy.

So why couldn’t we find any?

#2
AnimosiTy1:17 pm, 20 Feb 12

can’t afford it! :/ cheaper to watch them myself! :/ can’t go back to work or centrestink will just cut their pay to me and I get stuck putting kids in child care working running around like a headless chook and for what?! not much!!

#3
lisagrace1:22 pm, 20 Feb 12

At $95 per day we are paying quite alot more than the ACT’s average apparantly… I wonder what the people paying $85 a day are getting?

#4
Myles Peterson1:31 pm, 20 Feb 12

… although to be fair, employment complications made it difficult for us to commit to anything.

Still a tough childcare “market” out there, judging by our own experience.

#5
sepi1:56 pm, 20 Feb 12

So they have increased places by 29 places – in the entire ACt, yet waiting lists are commonly up in the 200 mark on any good centre – a wait of a year or two…

We wanted to get an extra day of care at our existing centre, where as existing clients we get priority over the entire waiting list, and we never got it. We waiting over 6 months at the top of the wait list and in the end gave up. childcare waiting times are dire in Canberra and seem to get worse every year.

The other problem is how to renovate centres. They brag about plans for increasing places at existing centres, but to do that they have to extend or renovate and that leaves 50 odd kids with nowhere to go while it is happening. (3 months or more.)

#6
dtc2:34 pm, 20 Feb 12

sepi said :

So they have increased places by 29 places – in the entire ACt, yet waiting lists are commonly up in the 200 mark on any good centre – a wait of a year or two…

People do realise that the vast majority (if not all) childcare centres are private sector or not for profit – in any event, not government centres. So I’m not sure why you blame the government for anything, whether a shortage of positions, waiting lists or pricing.

#7
BethiePrice2:38 pm, 20 Feb 12

Are they counting the community run centres? Or are they only in Queanbeyan.
Our care prices have risen, the Gov still contributes the same amount but I get more “enforced savings” back in my pocket every quarter to thump onto my debts. We’re “paying” $75 a day, minus the gov contributions and the fact that we get half our out of pocket expenses back, it brings it down to around $30 a day…they provide food and wipes. As annoying as it is having my girl sick every third week, it’s certainly better then losing one income.
Plus I found if you over quote your income, you get less of a contibution from the Government but more back once you do your tax returns because you’ve earned less than what you orginally stated. There are positives and negatives to everything.

#8
madamcholet2:49 pm, 20 Feb 12

lisagrace said :

At $95 per day we are paying quite alot more than the ACT’s average apparantly… I wonder what the people paying $85 a day are getting?

We pay $85 a day ata along day care centre for one child over three. It went down when he turned three – I think because they are expected to be going to the toilet (no nappies), and not needing formula really. We get fantastic service for our $85 – all food, excellent care & more importantly education, a year book every xmas, parties etc. It’s a large centre so that might help with spreading costs.

As a contracts, we also pay $72 a day for family day care for the same child. In this cae, we have to supply all food as well as nappies/formula when he did still need them. In my mind, the $85 is better value. I think I’d happily pay a bit more though if we had to.

Having said that, they are still to advise in March if there will be an increease due to the new childcare regs. I expect that this is why the Gov has put this out – to allay our fees that we may not be getting value for money. Our centre is full, and having a childcare centre owner as a friend who tells me honestly how it is, I don’t think it’s likely that anymore places will appear very quickly as it’s so hard to find qualified staff..

#9
MightyJoe4:17 pm, 20 Feb 12

A pretty good service thanks!

3 meals a day, afternoon healthy snack, nappies and a great education for my daughter!

lisagrace said :

At $95 per day we are paying quite alot more than the ACT’s average apparantly… I wonder what the people paying $85 a day are getting?

#10
sepi7:41 am, 21 Feb 12

Govt can do plenty.

they canmandate tht all new office blocks have to have capacity for a daycare centre within the building.

They can make studying chjildcare cheaper.

Currently they are changing the laws for better child/carer rations etc, which is making centres take on less kids.

I dont’ think you can just open up a childcare centre either, you need govt permission. I’m sure they’[d grant it right now though, with a significant shortfall.

Staffing is the issue. If you could get staffing I would think it is a license to rpint money in teh ACt right now.

#11
lisagrace12:32 pm, 21 Feb 12

Intersting madamcholet and MightyJoe, sounds like you are getting the same as we are but I’m paying $10 more per day = $60 more per fortnight.

I love the service we get from our childcare centre and I have never complained about the cost, as my daughter loves it there and we’ve never had any trouble or worries. And of course we get half of the cost back every quarter which helps a lot.

I wonder if the price will go down once she turns three as happened at your centre madamcholet…

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