Families in Western Australia are struggling to find affordable, flexible childcare. The sector needs support if it is going to meet the needs of the community. It can’t simply keep raising fees to cover costs – as this would mean many Western Australians couldn’t afford this vital service.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, three in every five children in Australia were looked after by a grandparent in 2011 because their parents had to work. For families in Western Australia, the prevalence of fly-in fly-out work is an additional pressure. Yet, not-for-profit childcare centres are struggling to meet the capital and staffing costs they must pay, without passing on the cost to families that are already under significant cost of living pressure.
For example, in February, Kambalda’s only childcare centre closed for several months because it couldn’t afford to keep operating despite strong local demand – and when it reopened under new management it had to charge almost $100 a day.
The Australian Greens have announced a capital grants fund that would see $200 million rolled out to community and not-for-profit childcare centres over four years, increasing the number of available places. The Capital Grants Fund can be targeted to places with the highest need, and for expansions that are urgently required right now such as baby rooms. This capital grants fund is just one way that Greens can help take the pressure off of parents and the childcare sector
CARE FOR PEOPLE