THE HON SHAYNE NEUMANN MP, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BLAIR
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has confirmed that between 2018 and 2022 the average costs for large centre-based day care providers grew 27 per cent.
Over the same period, nominal gross child care fees in Australia increased by 20.6 per cent in comparison to the OECD average of 9.5 per cent, according to the competition watchdog’s second interim report into child care costs.
In addition, the report found that in 2022, for a family on average wages with two children in centre-based day care full-time, net child care costs came to 16 per cent of net household income compared to the OECD average of nine per cent.
Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said the findings predated the Albanese Labor Government’s Cheaper Child Care package, which came into effect in July.
“This report reveals that child care costs under the former government went up by twice as much as the OECD average and the reforms they introduced to cap prices haven’t worked.
“The good news is our cheaper child care changes have seen families pay on average around 14 per cent less per hour per child for centre-based day care.
“The report also finds that large not-for-profit providers have a higher proportion of staff employed full-time and at an above award wage compared to for-profit providers.
“But there is more work to do, and this report points the way for where the next stage of reforms could lead.
“I want to ensure local families in my electorate, no matter where they live or their background, have equitable access to affordable quality early childhood education and care.
“This report will inform the in-depth Productivity Commission review, helping us chart the course to universal access to early childhood education and care.
“We know children who access quality early learning go on to do better at school and throughout life.
“It’s important children aren’t locked out of the health and education benefits of quality early learning, which is why the Albanese Labor Government made changes to boost the Child Care Subsidy.
“This is delivering real cost of living relief for around 1.2 million families across Australia, including 8,900 families here in Blair,” Mr Neumann said.
The report makes a number of draft recommendations to regulatory arrangements and to the broader system to help keep fees in check and out-of-pocket costs down for families.
Parents, educators, providers and other interested parties are encouraged to have their say on the draft findings and recommendations from the ACCC’s consultation paper. The report is available here: https://www.accc.gov.au/inquiries-and-consultations/childcare-inquiry-2023
Submissions are open until 29 October 2023 and will be considered by the ACCC with its final report to be provided to the Government by 31 December 2023.
The ACCC findings will be considered alongside the Productivity Commission inquiry into early childhood education and care, which will provide advice on making the system more affordable and accessible for families for the next decade and beyond.
More information on the PC inquiry can be found here: https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/childhood#draft