Monday, 7 October 2019

Centre-based childcare costs have risen in NSW Northern Rivers region in 2019

According to the federal Dept. of Education's Child Care in Australia report for March quarter 2019, a total of 1,940 Clarence Valley children were enrolled in either centre-based child care, family day care or after school care in the March Quarter 2019. This is a decease in total enrolments on the December 2018 quarter figures.

A further 7,280 children were enrolled in the Richmond Valley region and 4,390 in Tweed Valley. These figures represent an modest increase in enrolments for both Richmond and Tweed valleys.

The average centre-based child care fee per hour in the Clarence Valley was $9.13 (up 11.9% on March 2018), in the Richmond Valley coastal region $9.19 (up 6.3%) and in the hinterland $8.89 (up 6.2%), while the Tweed Valley per hour charge was $9.01 (up 9.5%).

The official fee cap for centre-based childcare is $11.77 per hour and the national average out of school hours care fee is $9.95.

Out of school hours care fees were not recorded for the Clarence Valley as less than 5 children were recorded, but these fees went down in Richmond Valley coast and hinterland as well as in Tweed Valley by -3.9%, -0.3% and -4.6% respectively.

Remembering that Clarence Valley local government area population at the 2016 national census contained over 8,000 children 14 years of age & under and in the December quarter 2018 report there were 1,990 children enrolled in childcare, I find it rather strange that Nationals MP for Page Kevin Hogan blames the recent price rise on "increased demand" for services when valley enrolment numbers were down by 50 children in January to March 2019.

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