Some bad news for Gold Coast parents, particularly those who live in the northern part of the city.
New data released by the Education Department has revealed the cost of childcare on the Gold Coast is rising faster than the national average.
The average cost of childcare across the country rose by 4.52 percent between 2019 to 2020, however Gold Coast families on average have seen fees jump by 5.35 percent.
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It’s also been revealed some parents are copping it worse than others, with northern Gold Coasters hit by a whopping 7.6 percent increase, while those from Burleigh to Broadbeach saw a 7.5 percent jump over 12 months.
Labor Senator Murray Watt said the official data also predicts child care fees will continue to increase on average by 4.1 percent every year for the next four years nationwide.
“This increase in fees will substantially outstrip inflation, which the Child Care Subsidy is pegged to, meaning out of pocket costs for families will continue to skyrocket in the years to come,” Senator Watt said.
“This is unwelcome news for Gold Coast parents who are struggling with the rising cost of living… and what that means is that families have got less money to spend on groceries and other costs.
“Scott Morrison has taken his hand off the steering wheel when it comes to child care, and Gold Coast families are paying the price,” he added.
Senator Watt said Labor’s Cheaper Child Care for Working Families plan would lift the maximum child care subsidy rate to 90 per cent, in a bid to put more money back in parents pockets.
It comes as Jae Fraser, founder and managing director of The Scholars Group, who run the Little Scholars School of Early Learning at Ashmore, revealed the average daily childcare fee at his centres ranged from $90 to $106 per day.
Mr Fraser admitted that despite efforts to keep fees under control, it was hard not to pass on the rising costs of running centres onto parents.
“Operating a child care early learning facility is a very expensive task,” he said.
“Wages for the average Child Care Centre are typically about 65 percent of our revenue because of our ratios imposed on us by the national or on regulations. So once you have 65 percent of your revenue chewed up by wages and then have rent and electricity and all the other operating costs of running a business there’s not that much left over.
“So anytime costs increase, rent increases, power increases, all those costs increase. Unfortunately, we have very little room left to not pass on some of those cost to families to keep operating at a quality level.”