Local families suffer under high childcare fees

By Terri Butler MP

14 October 2021

The figures are in, showing the rate of increase in child care fees in our local area. How did your suburb fare?

New data has revealed Southside families are suffering under soaring child care fees. 

The Department of Education’s most recent data, from March, shows child care fees have grown as follows over twelve months:

1.3% increase in Brisbane Inner - East statistical area which includes Bulimba, Hawthorne, Balmoral, Morningside, Norman Park, Seven Hills and East Brisbane

3.9% increase in Brisbane Inner statistical area which includes West End, Hill End, Highgate Hill, South Brisbane, and Kangaroo Point

4.0% increase in Mt Gravatt statistical area which includes Mt Gravatt East

4.5% increase in Holland Park-Yeronga statistical area which includes Woolloongabba, Dutton Park, Buranda, Coorparoo, Stones Corner, Greenslopes, Holland Park and Holland Park West

4.9% increase in Carindale statistical area which includes Cannon Hill, Camp Hill, Carina, and Carina Heights

In almost all of the electorate of Griffith, fee increases were well above the national rate of increase, 2.4 per cent. 

The national and local rates of increase for child care fees were also well above inflation, which was 1.1 per cent for the same period. Because the Child Care Subsidy is indexed to inflation, the above-inflation increase means that local families are paying more and more out of pocket. 

Nationally, child care fees have soared by 39.2 per cent since the Liberal-National government was elected in 2013. 

The Morrison-Joyce government’s dud child care policy will fall well short of what is required to bring genuine and permanent fee relief to local families.

The Morrison Joyce Government’s dud policy will:-

•    Only provide some relief to one in four families 
•    Completely leave out parents with one child in child care (74 per cent of families)
•    Rip extra support away from families with two children in care once the older child goes to school; and
•    Do nothing to put downward pressure on rapid fee growth. 

By contrast, an Albanese Labor Government will make child care cheaper for 97 per cent of families in the system, regardless of how many children a family has in care. 

Importantly, we will task the ACCC with designing a price regulation mechanism, to shed light on costs and fees and drive them down for good.

The Productivity Commission will also conduct a comprehensive review of the sector, with the aim of implementing a universal 90 per cent subsidy for all families.

Labor has a plan to bring down the cost of child care for local families, and keep it down.