Despite government subsidies, the out-of-pocket costs for child care continue to rise above inflation. Given this, and other factors such as stagnant wage growth, child care can be unaffordable for some Australian families.
According to new research*: “A family household where each parent is on the average full time wage ($85,000pp, ABS, 2019) will spend more out-of-pocket on child care ($5,949) compared to a family sending their child to an independent school (average $5,782) and significantly more than sending their child to a Catholic (average $1,900) or government school ($336), if they are using child care for a similar amount of hours as a child attending primary school”.
In this video, ABC News explores the impact that child care costs are having on some Australian families, which encompasses, for example, deciding not to have additional children and delaying the return to work. Importantly, for most of us, deciding to have a child or not, will be the biggest economic decision we will ever make. It can be challenging, especially financially, but it can also be very rewarding.
*Hurley, P., Noble, K., & Jackson, J. (2020). Australian investment in education: early childhood education and care. Mitchell Institute, Melbourne.