New data has revealed families in the Snowy Valleys are being crippled by soaring child care fees.
The Department of Education’s most recent data (March 2021) shows child care fees in Tumut and Tumbarumba increased by 6.8 per cent over 12 months, well above the national increase of 2.4 per cent.
Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain said fees rose well above inflation for the same period (1.1 per cent), which the Child Care Subsidy is indexed to - meaning local families are paying more and more out of pocket.
“The Tumut and Tumbarumba region increase of 6.8 per cent is actually the highest increase in fees across all regions in NSW,” Ms McBain said.
“What troubles me most about these figures is that this steep increase occurred despite fees being frozen for six months of that year due to the pandemic.
“Families in the Snowy Valleys have been doing it really tough dealing with the pandemic while trying to recover and move on from the bushfires.
“This 6.8 per cent fee increase is a huge blow to families and for some means child care is unaffordable.”
Child care fees across Australia have soared by 39.2 per cent since 2013. While fee relief is due to come into effect from March 2022, unfortunately only one in four families will benefit from the upcoming changes.
“Australian families face some of the highest out of pocket costs for early learning and care in the world which is why Labor is committed to making child care cheaper for 97 per cent of families, regardless of how many children a family has in care,” Ms McBain said.
“We need to bring down the cost of child care and keep it down.”