The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released an eye-opening report revealing the financial strain on Australian families with young children.
Shockingly, these families spend a staggering 16% of their household income on child care, significantly higher than the average in other OECD countries.
For working parents, child care is a necessary expense that cannot be avoided. Despite efforts to find alternatives such as bringing kids to work or inventing robot babysitters, the reality is that significant expenses are incurred to ensure the well-being of children.
According to the ACCC’s second interim report on childcare costs, Australians are spending considerably more than the OECD average of 9%. The report also highlights a staggering 27% increase in the average cost for large centre-based daycare providers between 2018 and 2022.
Unfortunately, the existing cap on childcare fees implemented by the previous government appears to have little impact on alleviating this burden.
The challenging task of balancing work and children is undeniably taking a toll on Australian families. With a substantial portion of their income dedicated to childcare expenses, many parents question the value of returning to the workforce.
Fortunately, the report offers hope with draft recommendations suggesting comprehensive changes to the Child Care Subsidy and the hourly rate cap mechanism, along with more robust price monitoring.
Until these changes take effect, pursuing a career in childcare may be the most viable solution, allowing parents to continue working while having their child by their side. Although it can be a demanding journey, with determination and perseverance, Australian families can overcome this daunting challenge.