The peak body for women business owners in Australia has highlighted the importance of childcare affordability in a new campaign targeting political leaders.
According to the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (AWCCI), the average working mum takes home just $160 per week after paying for childcare for one child.
“Parents are having to wait up to three years for appropriate childcare places, forcing women, on the whole, to resign in order to undertake child-caring responsibilities, rely on grandparents or hire expensive private nannies,” said CEO Yolanda Vega.
The organisation’s community service announcement focuses on the high cost of childcare in Australia and encourages everyone to pressure their political leaders in prioritising childcare.
Created for both radio and television, the announcement compares the average cost of childcare against the average take home pay of a working mother.
It claims that only $160 is left in the average weekly pay envelope for most women after paying for childcare and asks viewers and listeners to “work it out”.
Vega said that the concern is too important to be ignored in an election year.
“This isn’t just an issue for parents because an efficient, flexible and affordable childcare system can also build a productive, prosperous and stable national economy,” she said.
The AWCCI also highlighted results of a study which states that Australia’s Gross Domestic Product would be increased by 11 per cent or $25 billion if female employment levels matched their male counterparts.
The AWCCI has also published an issues paper to outline the possible benefits and obstacles that could result from making childcare more affordable for families.
The paper claims that the childcare system is being overburdened by demand which is rising 13 times faster than the supply. It also quotes a recent survey that claims three quarters of long day-care centres in Australia’s major cities do not have any vacancies for babies, while two-thirds don’t have available places for toddlers.
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