Parents could be forced fork out more to access some childcare for their kids in 2021 with experts predicting a dire impact on families.
Parents could be forced fork out more to access some childcare for their kids in 2021 with experts predicting a dire impact on families.

How much childcare hikes will cost your family

The cost of some childcare is expected to jump more than 16 per cent over the next four years, according to modelling by the federal government.

Parents could be forced to spend almost 5 per cent more to access long daycare for their kids in 2021 with further increases each year to 16.2 per cent by mid 2024.

Before and after-school care costs are expected to rise by at least 6 per cent over the next two years.

Fee growth was expected to outstrip the consumer price index that government subsidies are pinned to, ­meaning families could be left paying more.

With the childcare fee freeze for Victorian families due to end on January 31, the federal opposition is calling on the government to fix the ­system it said was broken.

The modelling also showed the government expected more than 200,000 extra children would be in some form of approved childcare by 2024. It predicted just under two million children would be in care, up from 1.3 million families, in four years.

For the financial year ending in June, the government forecasted about 1.8 million kids would be going to childcare services.

A small group of children play at a Childcare Centre.
A small group of children play at a Childcare Centre.

Opposition childcare spokeswoman Amanda ­Rishworth said the "soaring" out-of-pocket costs needed to be addressed.

"The Morrison government's childcare system has failed to keep a lid on out-of-pocket costs, and it is families in Victoria and across the country who are paying the price," she told the Herald Sun.

"Pre-pandemic, Victorian families were already paying some of the highest childcare fees in the country, and at the end of January they will face further fee hikes."

The fee freeze was extended in Victoria to help parents ­during the second wave and as the state recovered.

A spokesman for the federal government said the $8 billion childcare subsidy (CCS) scheme was "highly targeted so the families that earn the least receive the highest level of subsidy".

"While the hourly rate cap and the CCS taper are adjusted by CPI, the rate of subsidy is not," he said. "About 85 per cent of services have an average hourly fee that is below or on par with the hourly rate cap … For families attending those services, the proportion of their fee that is subsidised by CCS remains the same."

In April, the Australian government introduced temporary free childcare to help parents, as well as supports for centres forced to fire staff as parents pulled kids out of care when they were not at work.

tamsin.rose@news.com.au

@tamsinroses

Originally published as How much childcare hikes will cost your family


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