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Soaring childcare fees forcing Aussie parents to stay at home

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Parents are forking out up to $200 a day for early childcare, leaving some parents with no choice but to forego paid work to care for their child.

Parents in Sydney are paying an average $494 for 50 hours of childcare a week, according to the latest figures from the Productivity Commission, with high rental costs and red tape to blame.

The most expensive state was the Australian Capital Territory, where parents can expect to pay a staggering $560 a week for childcare.

Across the country, the median cost is $460 a week.

Source: Productivity Commission

The Productivity Commission warned these fees are hardest on poorer families, who are forced to spend more of their income on childcare than wealthier families.

This is despite $9.2 billion in government funding to subsidise early childhood education.

The report warned that the proportion of people not working because of the high price of childcare continues to edge up every year.

Nearly four in 10 (37 per cent) of parents who weren’t working because they were looking after their children said they were doing so because they couldn’t find care, most often due to price.

A KPMG report released last year made similar findings. It revealed that the average Australian family sees little financial benefit in having a working mum increase her working days from three to four days a week.

Similarly, a report from Bloomberg released earlier this week revealed Sydney is the third-most expensive country to have a live in nanny at US$63,500 a year. That’s after Monaco and Los Angeles.

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