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Child Care Centres – Who’s watching?

By notmuchtosay - 18 April 2009 31

My child has been in full time daycare for the past year in a centre in Belconnen. The care is good, nothing I can complain about, and the staff are friendly and stable.

The centre was sold to some people who owned other centres around Canberra and Sydney around mid 2008. During Jan 2009 we were hit with a $7 a day fee increase, I guess thats ok, expenses change but come next month we get another $11 a day increase.

I will soon be paying $82 a day for childcare. They gave justifications for the increase but they were pretty weak, not worth going into here.

I did a ring around to some other centres in Canberra, and I couldnt find another that charged over $80 a day, Does anyone else pay over $80 a day?

Who governs these centres, from my investigations they are a small business so they can do what they like. 

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31 Responses to
Child Care Centres – Who’s watching?
willo 11:11 pm 18 Apr 09

$440 a week for an under 3yo? I am sure glad my kids are way past this age that has gotta be a huge strain on the weekly budget.

Ernie 11:02 pm 18 Apr 09

Yep, we pay $88 per day and that includes all food and nappies. Goes down to $80 per day once they turn 3 and go into the other room. It was the only place we could get into.

nyssa76 10:17 pm 18 Apr 09

BB let me tell you that as a defence spouse of 3 school age children, having ‘time off’ to be with them during the holdiays is a good thing.

When I go into work to prepare for the following term, the teen goes to the movies or something and the youngest two tag along, watching videos or reading.

canberra bureaucrat 10:01 pm 18 Apr 09

Even not-for-profits can be pretty expensive. The key to the costs is the cost of staff, which is the vast majority of centre operating costs. The related factor is child:staff ratio. Some centres run a bit above the minimum, which is great for the kids and staff, but costs.

You will often see public debate saying there should be better ratios (i.e. less kids per staff member), we should pay staff more, etc, but without mention of who pays for this significant extra cost. Unions are good at this (always practical business people). What’s that you say? – “Government should pay”? As someone mentioned above they do via the tax rebate and various other things (50%, no small sum). But of course an economist will tell you that if you subsidise in this way, it increases “willingness to pay”, so at any price charged, there will be increased demand, and price goes up. There is evidence that supports this, showing that childcare rebates have all coincided with price increases. Given that the majority of operating costs are wages, I would contend that the government is essentially subsidising childcare staff wages. And both sides of politics at that – love the irony!

pug206gti 7:28 pm 18 Apr 09

I didn’t realise spawning was so expensive!

BerraBoy68 6:29 pm 18 Apr 09

Igglepiggle said :

I think its just supply and demand. When you do the sums though, sometimes it hardly seems like its worth going to work..

Sorry for the double post but I agree. My wife has just decided not to return to work full-time as we’d actually lose money due to the cost of childcare, even for just the period of the school holidays. What a ridiculous situation. When I run the ACT things will be different! Different I tells ya…

BerraBoy68 6:26 pm 18 Apr 09

aronde said :

Do the kids get food for your $82? If yes that is only a bit higher then what we pay. I have found from talking with friends and direct experience the cost of childcare can vary considerably from one place to another. I just keep remembering the government gives me 50% of it back each quarter!

My kids used to go to an ABC centre here in the ACT. We took them out when both kids come home one day telling us they got in trouble for taking three, yes 3, chicken nuggets each. They were told they were only allowed two. And this was after we’d been told by Management (as part of their pitch when we were shopping around for childcare) that they could have as much lunch as they wanted. Two Chicken nuggets? FFS.

grunge_hippy 6:14 pm 18 Apr 09

i am thinking that too igglepiggle now that i am preggers with my 2nd. my pay goes to the mortgage, but i’ll be buggered if i know where the extra money is going to come from to pay for the second one to go into care when i do have to go back to work (which wont be long at all this time around!)

Igglepiggle 5:51 pm 18 Apr 09

I think its just supply and demand. When you do the sums though, sometimes it hardly seems like its worth going to work..

aronde 3:17 pm 18 Apr 09

Do the kids get food for your $82? If yes that is only a bit higher then what we pay. I have found from talking with friends and direct experience the cost of childcare can vary considerably from one place to another. I just keep remembering the government gives me 50% of it back each quarter!

vg 3:03 pm 18 Apr 09

“Who governs these centres, from my investigations they are a small business so they can do what they like”

Correct

grunge_hippy 2:53 pm 18 Apr 09

holy moly… i pay $67 a day and think that is expensive! Ours is run by a community organsation, so they arent really in it for the profit as opposed to a privately run centre i guess.

farq 1:37 pm 18 Apr 09

we pay almost $90 a day, so yeah.

the early childhood educators don’t get paid enough as it is for the responsibilities we ask them to take.

sepi 1:35 pm 18 Apr 09

We pay 79.00 a day. So pretty close.

One of the many stupid arguments against the Parlt Hse childcare centre was that it would be too expensive – at 75.00 a day. Shows how out of touch they are up there.

It is a seller’s market at the moment in ACT childcare. It isn’t as if you can just take your kids out and grab a spot elsewhere.

Inappropriate 12:50 pm 18 Apr 09

http://www.dhcs.act.gov.au/ocyfs/services/childrens_services

If you need advice or information or have any concerns about your child care
arrangements in the ACT, please call (02) 6207 1114 and ask to speak to a
Children’s Services Adviser, or write to: Children’s Policy and Regulation Unit,
GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601

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