Families welcome help on fees

Families welcome help on fees

Gwen Pritchett is among the hundreds of thousands of parents who have done their sums on child care and found it does not add up.

The Dianella mother of three is keen to re-enter the workforce but the high cost of child care versus what she would expect to earn as an executive assistant means under the current system of subsidies it makes no financial sense.

"It is cheaper for me to stay at home than send my kids to day care," Mrs Pritchett said.

The Government claims its childcare package will help Mrs Pritchett and parents in more than 240,000 families like hers take up jobs or increase their hours of work.

Under the Government's revamped activity test, parents looking for work would be eligible for assistance, alleviating the situation where Mrs Pritchett and others were not able to commit to an employer without guaranteed access to a childcare place.

With husband Simon earning about $140,000 a year working in information technology, the Pritchetts would get between 62 per cent and 50 per cent of the childcare fee covered by the Government under the proposed changes, depending on Mrs Pritchett's future wages.

That compares with between 58 per cent and 50 per cent under the current system. Based on the $83 daily fee a child the Pritchetts paid when they last had two children in care 18 months ago, their childcare bill would be about $5 a day lower, adding up to hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.

"That's going to be a huge relief for families," Mrs Pritchett said. "The new childcare system for me sounds very good because I can go back to work and contribute to the family budget."

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