Childcare quality does not drive up costs: study

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The quality framework was introduced in 2012 under the Gillard government and includes lower child-to-carer ratios and new requirements for staff qualifications. While it enjoys bipartisan support, concerns have been raised that the quality standards will decrease affordability for families. 

The minister responsible for childcare Sussan Ley has said that fees have increased by $5 to $20 a day under the framework. This is disputed by Labor, which points to an August 2013 Department of Education report that finds the framework is being rolled out “without any significant increase in fees”. 

Question marks over the quality framework have continued in the Productivity Commission’s July draft report into childcare, which suggested that child-to-carer ratios and carer qualifications could be watered down. 

The Early Childhood Australia report shows that the bulk of services surveyed charge between $71 and $100 a day. Of the 556 centres who were “exceeding” the standard, 18 per cent charged between $40 and $70 a day, 42 per cent charged between $71 and $85 a day and 28 per cent charged between $86 and $100. 

Of the 861 centres “working towards” the standard, 28 per cent charged between $40 and $70, 47 per cent charged between $71 and $85 and 19 per cent charged between $86 and $100. 

Early Childhood Australia chief executive Samantha Page said the results “indicate that higher daily fees are not obviously or strongly correlated with higher-quality assessment ratings.”  

She said services charging higher daily fees tended to be in metropolitan areas where commercial costs like rent were significant. “Many of the high-quality services with relatively low fees were in regional areas,” she said. 

For example, according to MyChild, the Giraffe Early Learning Centre in Mosman in Sydney charges $128 per day for three to four-year-olds and is rated as “meeting” the standards, while the Katoomba Children’s Cottage Service charges $70 a day and is rated as “exceeding” the standards.

In Melbourne,  according to MyChild, Nicki’s Clever Cookies in Northcote charges $92 a day for three to four-year-olds and is rated as “working towards” the standards, while Gum Nuts Resort in Benalla charges $74 a day and is “exceeding” the standards. 

Ms Page said she hoped the research would prove that “reducing the quality standards regulating early childhood education and care services won’t necessarily lead to lower daily fees”.

Other factors like operating hours and staff fees could also be playing a part. Ms Page said more research into cost drivers was needed. 
















Source Article from http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/childcare-quality-does-not-drive-up-costs-study-20141103-11fxxl.html
Childcare quality does not drive up costs: study
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/childcare-quality-does-not-drive-up-costs-study-20141103-11fxxl.html
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カテゴリー: Childcare   パーマリンク

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