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Cost of childcare in Brisbane rivals the price parents pay to send kids to state’s top private schools

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Author: 
Vonow, Brittany
Publication Date: 
26 Sep 2015
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Childcare fees at some Brisbane daycare centres rival the cost of some of the city’s most expensive private schools.

The exorbitant fees for five-days-a-week care have hit $31,200 a year at some centres. The $7500 government subsidy available to families reduces it to $23,700.

By comparison, Brisbane Grammar School, one of the most expensive schools for a Year 12 education, this year charged $23,180, while Brisbane Girls Grammar School’s fees this year were $21,700.

The most expensive childcare centres in Brisbane include River City World of Learning, which charges $125 per day for a baby, down to $123 per day for five days, while Kids Academy at Spring Hill charges $115.

Jo Briskey, the executive director of The Parenthood advocacy group, said high demand often made it difficult for families to find cheaper childcare, paying whatever it took to get their child into a spot or sending them to school as soon as possible.

“I would imagine for many families the sooner they can stop paying childcare fees the better, but this isn’t fair on (anyone),” she said.

“Research has shown time and time again that access to early learning and care in the first few years before school can really set our kids up to get the very best out of formal schooling once they are ready for Prep.”

Mum Juliet Percy said her family paid about $18,000 to send her children Luca, 4, and Lilly, 3, to childcare for three days a week.

“We were looking at doing private schooling just in high school to save money but then when we looked at the fees; it was similar to what we are paying now,” she said.

“I think the costs definitely impact women deciding to go back to work … They think whether it’s worth going back just to get a couple of hundred dollars a week.”

Queensland University of Technology childcare researcher Michelle Brady said: “It’s a market-based ­system, which means there is no cap on care other than what the market is willing to bear.

“There are no limits and each time you increase the subsidies, they (centres) can increase the price.

“There are other countries that have made the decision that childcare is like education, and that there should be universal care at a fixed price for children at a certain age.

“That’s a decision we have to make as a community.”

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said he was committed to implementing a new almost $40 billion childcare package from July 1, 2017.

-reprinted from The Courier Mail

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Entered Date: 
29 Sep 2015
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