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Childcare subsidy boost already being eaten up as centres lift fees

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Precel, N & Grace, R.
Publication Date: 
26 Jun 2023


Families expecting some relief from increased childcare subsidies are being slugged with fee hikes as centres struggle to meet rising costs and some experts worry providers are being opportunistic.

The federal government said the increase in childcare subsidy rates, which will cost $5.4 billion over four years and apply from July, will make childcare cheaper for around 1.2 million families, including 265,000 families in regional areas.


However, The Parenthood chief executive Georgie Dent said a lot of families were contacting the organisation with concerns about fee increases, when they had been expecting a reduction in costs owing to the new childcare policy.


“It’s incredibly frustrating ... we’re burning through our savings. That was going to make a difference for us,” she said.

Dircks said she wouldn’t begrudge the fee rise if the money was going to the centre’s educators, but she dismissed widespread increases as “entirely opportunistic” by centres.

“The design of that childcare subsidy increase was to ease the cost of living. It wasn’t supposed to be a bailout to the childcare centres,” she said.