Soaring childcare costs forcing parents out of work

Georgia Main

Soaring childcare costs puts pressure on family budget

Soaring childcare costs are putting even more pressure on family budgets.

So much so, that working mothers could soon be paying out half of what they earn. A situation that will force many to stay at home.

For Peace Mitchell, there is no such thing as affordable child care.

"I put my children into childcare one afternoon and it cost $75 not even for a full hour of care," she said. "For that price I could have got a chauffeur to take them to the Langham for High Tea."

For a mother earning the average female weekly wage, a childcare bill of $100 a day equates to half her daily take-home pay.

"Once you have two or three children the cost just skyrockets - that's when a lot of mums are finding it difficult to afford," she said.

There are more than 240,000 children in childcare in Victoria, costing parents from $80 a day to a staggering $160 for 'premium care'.

And even though there is a rebate, it cuts out at $7,500.

Samantha Page, CEO of Early Childhood Australia, said: "The childcare rebate system and benefit is very confusing and the continued freeze on indexation on those subsidies means parents are paying more and more of a gap fee."

Around 125 child care centres across Melbourne now charge more than $100 a day, and with fees increasing at around seven per cent a year, many parents may be forced to give up work.