Childcare survey reveals inequities

Available, affordable, high-quality care is still out of reach for many families.
 
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07.More government support

Respondents' comments

  • "The government should increase funding to allow centres to increase wages, thereby ensuring quality carers at all centres.”
    - Darren, Victoria.
  • “I think people should pay for their own childcare instead of expecting taxpayers to subsidise their lifestyle choices.”
    - Anne, NSW.
  • “Assistance should be given to people who choose to stay home with their children.”
    - Lisa, Queensland.

In favour of more funding

Most of our respondents who’d used childcare in the past two years thought government should increase funding of childcare, by investing more for the provision of care as well as offering assistance to parents to help reduce its cost (see Figures 1 and 2, below).

With the provision of childcare, respondents thought government should supply capital funding for community-based/not-for-profit centres to increase the choice available to parents.

Experts also suggest government should provide land at cheaper rates for such centres to be built. Many respondents weren’t happy that childcare had become such a money-maker for big business, especially given carers are so poorly paid. Some thought increased government funding should go towards improving workers’ wages.

Expert workshop recommendations

A recent expert workshop on childcare policy supports wage increases for carers to help retain staff and pay them appropriately for the work they do. It also advised that government become involved in workforce planning to deal with childcare staff shortages, and that staff-to-child ratios be increased (which would also require more money).

Our survey respondents also wanted more help from the government to cover their out-of-pocket costs for childcare. There were a few comments, however (such as the one quoted above), from parents who’d prefer government to help them afford to stay at home with their child for at least the first 18 months. Some said they’d prefer paid parental leave over the current Maternity Payment they receive when their child is born.

Figure 1. Percentage of respondents who have used childcare in the past two years who agree with the statement: "The government should put more funding into childcare to reduce the cost to parents."

Strongly agree
60  
Agree
24  

Figure 2. Percentage of respondents who have used childcare in the past two years who agree with the statement: " The government should put more funding into childcare to make more places available."

Strongly agree
66  
Agree
26  
 

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