Parents abandon childcare due to cost

Parents abandon childcare due to cost

Camillo residents and expecting parents Jayden Blackman and Riahanon Vincent.

Childcare in Armadale and Serpentine-Jarrahdale is among the most expensive in the state, according to a local childcare guide.

The Care for Kid’s Childcare Guide said childcare in Serpentine-Jarrahdale and Armadale costs more than $100 per day on average.

Childcare during 2020 was made free due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed many families to keep their small businesses and families afloat through economic unrest.

The re-introduction of fees since COVID-19 has resulted in more families withdrawing their children from childcare.

Camillo resident and mother-to-be Riahanon Vincent said when she’s ready to go back to work, there may be no point sending her baby to childcare.

“A friend of mine has started her son at a childcare in Kelmscott which is costing more than a hundred dollars a day. If she weren’t getting assistance from Centrelink, it would be too expensive,” she said.

“I’m thinking of sending my baby there when I go back to work, but if my partner and I are both working then we won’t get much of a subsidy and I’ll be working just to pay for childcare.”

A recent report by the Chamber of Commerce WA said women are choosing to look after their children at home instead of working.

The report said that women in Western Australia with children aged 0-4 are least likely to work more than 20 hours a week.

Children attending kindy from low-income households are less likely to go more than 15 hours a week, with 66 per cent attending more than 15 hours compared to 79 per cent of children nationally.

According to the report, for many women it doesn’t make sense to work more than three days.

Armadale had an unemployment rate of 9.1 per cent in June, which is 2.9 per cent more than the state unemployment rate at 6.2 per cent.

This is due to the amount their income is taxed, early childhood education and care costs and reductions in government payments such as the family tax benefit.

Federal member for Burt, Matt Keogh said he is passionate about reducing childcare costs and said subsidised childcare can be a catalyst for change.

“Recently, the Grattan institute identified that increasing female workforce participation is one of the biggest economic opportunities for government and cheaper childcare for more workers can deliver it,” he said.

“They say simply increasing the childcare subsidy could have a multibillion-dollar impact on gross domestic product.”

Experts across Australia agreed that if childcare was affordable, more people could get back into work and more children would get a good education and ultimately contribute to the workforce later.