Poorest locked out of childcare

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The low figure, contained in the latest Women in NSW report from the NSW Government, contrasted with half of the top-earning NSW households with children using childcare.

Hielke Buddelmeyer, a senior research fellow with the HILDA survey,  said when households are divided into larger groups of “poor”, “middle”, and “rich”, the trend was similar – only 17 per cent of “poor” NSW households had used childcare, compared to 29 per cent of poor families nationally, and 37 per cent in Victoria.

“There’s evidence that not many low income families in NSW are making use of childcare to go to work, relative to Australia as a whole. Specifically for NSW, it could be cost,” Dr Buddelmeyer said.

Feminist academic Eva Cox said the figures are “startling” and showed the childcare market in NSW was failing.

“NSW has inflexible childcare in the wrong places, charging quite a lot of money,” she said.

In a submission to the Productivity Commission, Ms Cox has argued there needs to be a dual childcare system: one market-driven for those that can afford it, and the other government-provided for disadvantaged groups such as indigenous, remote families and the poor, who are otherwise locked out.

“If the government seriously wants to boost workforce participation it needs to make sure there are childcare services where they are needed,” she said.

Ms Cox said strict 6pm childcare closing times meant many Sydney families who commute long distances were trying to find childcare close to their workplace, rather than home. 

“There are childcare vacancies in the suburbs where theoretically low-income people live. Childcare there is under-used. But I suspect there are no jobs out there,” she said.

Two-thirds of children attending Sydney CBD childcare centres live more than five kilometres away, double the national average, and more than half live in the western suburbs, the Productivity Commission said in its draft report.

Ms Cox said commercial operators weren’t interested in providing low-cost care.

Childcare NSW president Nesha O’Neil, who represents private operators, said that for low-income families “the sums just don’t add up”.

“The cost of operating childcare in NSW is more than other states and the cost to families is more. The government subsidies have been quite inadequate for a while. Clearly the cost of childcare has outstripped CPI and families just can’t afford it,” Ms O’Neil said.

Labor’s spokeswoman Sophie Cotsis said she was concerned some councils in western and northern Sydney were seeking to outsource childcare to private operators, because councils often provided the most-affordable care for low income earners.

A NSW Education Department spokesman said the Commonwealth government was responsible for childcare participation.

He said the NSW government targeted pre-school funding at disadvantaged and Aboriginal children aged three to five and had increased funding rates to these groups by 60 per cent this year.

Source Article from http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/poorest-locked-out-of-childcare-20140906-10dajb.html
Poorest locked out of childcare
childcare – Yahoo News Search Results
childcare – Yahoo News Search Results

カテゴリー: Childcare   パーマリンク


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