Liberal Democratic senator David Leyonhjelm has a new enemy: childcare educators.
He described their role as “wiping noses and stopping the kids from killing each other”, and proceeded to blame escalating childcare fees on the industry’s professionalisation.
“They brought in this national quality framework and they had to go and get a Certificate III in Childcare in order to continue the job they were doing,” he argued.
His comments, made on TV program The Project recently, were in response to a Department of Education publication that shows childcare costs will rise by 22 per cent over the next four years if the government’s proposed legislation isn’t passed.
Sydney’s prices will be the dearest, at, on average, $223 a day by 2020. Melbourne will follow at $175, trailed by Brisbane at $157.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the current average across the country for 10 hours of long daycare was $88. Though, echoing shadow education minister Kate Ellis, he described the current system as “broken”.
“I encourage Labor to stop the political games, listen to the Australian people and get on board by passing the savings needed to fund our childcare reforms,” he said in a press release.
While some parents may opt not to work given childcare costs, others, like Mary from Brighton-Le-Sands in Sydney, say they’re willing to weather them, as they see childcare as an investment in their children’s development.
Childcare giant Goodstart Early Learning, however, says costs aren’t cause for alarm for most caregivers. It highlighted the ever-increasing vacancies in the sector. The latest government figures verify this: about 18,000 long daycare places were created between March 2014 and March 2016. Though Goodstart also admitted there was “pressure for places in the CBDs of some of our capital cities”.
Nevertheless, whether urban or rural, it might be wise to remember that Australia’s childcare costs are hardly the worst of the worst.Do you have an idea for a story?
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