Child care centre terminates places after mothers query $20 a day fee rise

Ian Bushnell 15 August 2019 52

Ms Moller has had three children at the centre since 2013 and it was a disappointing end to the relationship.

“We’re not suggesting that child care centres shouldn’t make profits, however profits to this extent are just exorbitant, and to be treated with such contempt on the back of being long-time customers is disgraceful,” Ms Moller said.

The Education Department says anyone who is concerned about their child care provider’s business practices being non-compliant or illegal to contact the Department on 1800 664 231 or on

Macquarie Childcare Centre was approached for comment.


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52 Responses to Child care centre terminates places after mothers query $20 a day fee rise
Janine Gilchrist Janine Gilchrist 7:29 pm 17 Aug 19


Matthew Caldow Matthew Caldow 11:00 am 17 Aug 19

This is ridiculous. But any industry that has 50% of their costs covered by the government is going to be ripe for private profiteering. $20 a day??? Without justifying the increase? That’s extortion! I’d say these mums and kids are better off somewhere else.

Laiza Jane Laiza Jane 9:27 am 17 Aug 19

Cris it’s a joke

Nell Feneck Nell Feneck 6:20 am 17 Aug 19

That’s what happens when you put a price on raising your children - wouldn’t happen if kids were raised at home where they should be - outsourcing the parenting of your kids will always come down to money -

    Lin Van Oevelen Lin Van Oevelen 7:09 am 17 Aug 19

    So you're a stay at home dad?

    Penelope Rose Penelope Rose 7:30 am 17 Aug 19

    Make sure you hold on tight to that high horse you're on, wouldn't want you to fall off and live in the real world.

    Nell Feneck Nell Feneck 7:47 am 17 Aug 19

    Lin Van Oevelen nope I was a stay at home MUM - no way I’m outsourcing mine to people that don’t love them - I have them - I raise them - the experience of raising my own children was PRICELESS

    Nell Feneck Nell Feneck 7:48 am 17 Aug 19

    Penelope Smithers if being in the real world is having so much debt that you have to outsource your kids to be raised then you can have it 😂😂🤣

    Lin Van Oevelen Lin Van Oevelen 9:19 am 17 Aug 19

    Comments like these actually make me roll my eyes so much. I can't work out if you may feel insecure about your choices, but trying to persuade random strangers on social media that their different choices were wrong and yours is the only right one because *insert some vague moral justification* is not the way to fix that.

    Instead of trying to diminish others, try standing tall? Your self worth is not linked to what others think of your choices. I'm sure you did and do an awesome job raising your kids, you're worthy and I, as a parent who also did what I think is best for my child, support you all the way.

    (But please do consider your super. It's an issue for mothers.)

    Deirdre Russack Deirdre Russack 10:39 am 17 Aug 19

    Nell Feneck Lucky you. Some of us didn't have that choice - one income and keeping a roof over the kids' heads.

    Janelle Stewart Janelle Stewart 4:21 pm 17 Aug 19

    Nell, nice mirror talk

    Stacey Griffiths Stacey Griffiths 8:40 pm 17 Aug 19

    So Nell have you ever received government benefits? You get the parenting payments or the family benefits right?

Matthew Pez Matthew Pez 1:00 am 17 Aug 19

It sounds like in this town, one parent is better off being a stay at home parent.

    Nell Feneck Nell Feneck 6:22 am 17 Aug 19

    Perry Matthew should just be the way anyways oh but wait we need that second car or really large ugly house with no yard

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 10:57 am 17 Aug 19

    Nell Feneck I would suggest many lower income families would struggle on a single income when a basic 3 beddie in Charnwood or Kambah starts at $450p/w in rent or $450k+ to buy.

    This is 2019 afterall.

Melvin Tatara Melvin Tatara 11:28 pm 16 Aug 19

Sounds as good as a centre that doesn't validate any billing, over charges, doesn't document attendance then sends a bill with days charged for casual attendance when there was no attendance...

Ian Ian 10:01 pm 16 Aug 19

I’ve got a suspicion there is more to this story than is being reported here

Cindy Murphy Cindy Murphy 9:41 pm 16 Aug 19

God, don’t believe everything you read, always two sides to a story.

    Christie Horsfield Christie Horsfield 10:45 pm 16 Aug 19

    Cindy Murphy - yeah but this centre has a history of doing it

    It was done to my family 5 years ago because I question unsafe practices of have toddlers and preschool kids in the preschool room in the morning. (Chocking hazarda galore). Also it was like a revolving door of staff some weeks you didn’t know who the staff were. So yes Cindy their are two sides to a story and probably many many more bad ones about this centres owners

Iaian Ross Iaian Ross 9:28 pm 16 Aug 19

$560 a week is average in ACT? Ouuuuch...

    Nell Feneck Nell Feneck 6:24 am 17 Aug 19

    Iaian Ross you could raise your child at home for that price which would be better for kids anyways bc they would be raised by people who love them not strangers that only care for your kid for a monetary reward

Liz Hampton Liz Hampton 9:21 pm 16 Aug 19

I bet none of that money is passed onto their workers either. Disgraceful way of running a business.

Sarah Pommer Sarah Pommer 7:52 pm 16 Aug 19

Disgraceful behaviour from this child care centre. Blatantly ripping hard working families off. Keep fighting Mamas!!!

Nathan Lofthouse Nathan Lofthouse 7:38 pm 16 Aug 19

I am endlessly (un)impressed how a child care centre can send your child home because they're sick and tell you an exclusion policy prevents the child from attending the following day, yet you're expected to pay for both. If I run out of sick leave at work, I don't get paid, they don't send me home and pay me, and I don't even get 1 day of leave for my child, let alone the standard rec and sick most employees (including child care workers) enjoy.

Can't use them on a public holiday - Still have to pay for it.

Don't get any absences from a centre - so go on a week holiday, still have to pay for it.

Get sick for more than 42 days in a financial year (which can happen as there's always 1 parent at each centre who sends sick kids in to infect others) and they shelve your child care rebate, but you're still expected to pay for it.

    Matthew Pez Matthew Pez 12:57 am 17 Aug 19

    Seriously??? Why would they make you pay for a day that your child isn't there?

    Gae Maidment Gae Maidment 3:06 am 17 Aug 19

    In one part you say they send your child home due to sickness and you need an exclusion period. Child care centres and schemes are obliged to follow the rules.the Health department give them.

    Not every child needs an exclusion it depends on the illness. If they have say 3 runny poos they HAVE no option but to do the above including exclusion as it other children. If there are 5 instances of say runny.poos in a week the centre has to shut down and have it cleaned and sterilized and that.includes.walls and carpet and.floor.and cupboards every single.thing. the educators do thisese.joba.for hours and then no children get care while it shuts down and inspected. I also mention the fact later on where you say about parents sending IN sick kids. The educators can also get these virus from the children and if they are casual they don't get paid.either. Last thing I notice is that both mums have never read the.policies. they.would have on a cpunter or.bookcase for any parent to read to access anytime as you had children there for a while there.would.have been.ample time to do so. It is a requirement by the Govt that. In the fee hike I do disagree with the.amount of money that is definitely not fair. But there are also 2 sides to every story

    Nathan Lofthouse Nathan Lofthouse 7:39 am 17 Aug 19

    Perry because we're paying for a place is the excuse.

    Which I agree is valid to a degree.

    But to assume my child will be there 52 weeks a year when they're closed on average for 6 but you still have to pay for those 6 is stupid.

    Are you working easter, christmas or new years day ? I often have to so who looks after my child then ?

    Family - none in the area

    Friends - none that can do it

    Daycare - no no, we're closed but you still have to pay for the forecast closure.

    Gae I have no problem with exclusion time. But when 3/4 of the sickness my child gets comes from his centre I doubt the effectiveness of some exclusions.

    Teething causes runny bums, but they will send them home for that and exclude them for the following day which you still pay for.

    So my child is teething, not having a great 2 days, but I have to burn sick leave if I have it, pay 250 dollars for 2 days of care and reduce the child care benefit absentee days I have before the government stops the assistance in order to care for my child because they can't ascertain the difference.

    Yet I see confirmed cases of influenza, hand foot mouth, and other things crop up at the centre on a nearly weekly basis.

    I'm all for exclusions to reduce transmission in a closed environment, but give us an allotment of days off for sickness and to take our children on holiday, like every full time employee enjoys and make those days NOT count towards the limited number of days the government says you have before you stop getting assistance.

    They don't stop austudy or unemployment if you're sick or go down the coast for a weekend away.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 11:17 am 17 Aug 19

    Nathan Lofthouse agree with your overall sentiment.

    But one thing re the 42 days absence once you go over that you can provide a doctors certificate to the centre and they can provide the information to Centrelink to continue to get paid the rebate for sick days at least.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 11:22 am 17 Aug 19

    Perry Matthew yes.

    I understand for sickness, but public holidays I don’t follow the reasoning. Yes non casuals still get paid but those costs should be like any other business closed and factored that into the overall operating price. And holidays same too nothing full centres in particular when you notify of holidays offer those spaces up as extra days for others.

    The centre I used to send the kids to allowed for 4 weeks holiday at half price which was reasonable.

Max Welch Max Welch 6:33 pm 16 Aug 19

That’s a shocking outcome. The industry needs a proper regulator. I now pay $137 a day at my place up. Up from about $113 a day in 2016.

Kristy Hancock Kristy Hancock 6:03 pm 16 Aug 19

It's sad when businesses take advantage of people in need, in an ideal world those companies providing community services like health, education and care would all be not for profit because sadly when the goal is to make money, people are usually put second

Renata Plesa Stipanovic Renata Plesa Stipanovic 5:01 pm 16 Aug 19

Centrelink forgot to mention that only after 8 weeks from last day of care they deduct any overpayment of CCS from the service instead of from the parent. So the service is left to chase up the monies from the parent who has already left the service. Such a shonky set up. Shame on you centrelink. All services and Educators have been forced to do the same. Once the 8 weeks has cleared we refund the parents all their bond if there are is no debt risen from centrelink at the 8 week mark. Many many educators & services have been left out of pocket due to this sneaky setup. Fancy not acknowledging any of it in their comments above.

Kylie Neill Kylie Neill 3:57 pm 16 Aug 19

Wow !! I’ve worked in childcare and from this story I’d say you’re much better off not going there. Centre policy documents should be readily available at any time for viewing. Hmmm sounds like the centre needs to be audited !

Julie Delves Julie Delves 3:51 pm 16 Aug 19

Whatever is going on here I wouldn’t assume that Centrelink was telling the truth to anybody. It has not been my experience that that is what happens.

Vee Churchill Vee Churchill 3:44 pm 16 Aug 19

Wow- sounds like the last place I'd want my children going based on their attitude alone

Roxy Mayor Roxy Mayor 3:38 pm 16 Aug 19

Why is the cost so high in the ACT?

That’s more than my weekly rent!!

    Roxy Mayor Roxy Mayor 3:43 pm 16 Aug 19

    Second question: is that $560 fee inclusive of the CCS? Is the CCS only for low income??

    This seems bloody ridiculous! No wonder one parent tends to stay home until school age!!

    Matthew O'Neill Matthew O'Neill 5:23 pm 16 Aug 19


    There is different thresholds for ccs.

    I pay almost as much in daycare fees as i do in rent

    Nathan Lofthouse Nathan Lofthouse 7:40 pm 16 Aug 19

    Roxy - 130ish a day would be the full price, and it's capped at income levels (I think under 100 grand gets you the maximum and it tapers off to zero just under 200 grand from memory)

    So it's income driven but definitely not what I'd call 'low' income

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 10:52 am 17 Aug 19

    Nathan Lofthouse not quite right. Up to about $68,000 it is 85%. That then tappers down to 50% at $173,000. It stays at 50% until $252,000. There is more to it after that but google can find the rest.

Kerry Dawson Kerry Dawson 3:18 pm 16 Aug 19

How terrible is this child care centre! All about $

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