Did You Know ...

Since 2018, the Australian Childcare Alliance NSW introduced "Did You Know ..." weekly e-mail broadcasts to all NSW-based state and federal parliamentarians as well as members of the media.

17 July 2018

Did you know … that the Productivity Commission formally reported that once the ratios were changed on 1 January 2016, childcare operating costs for 0-2 year olds would double. Yet there were no changes to Child Care Benefits or Child Care Rebates, or the new Child Care Subsidies to offset the increased costs. This forces up operating costs, making childcare MORE UNAFFORDABLE, and more pressure on cost-of-living?

REFERENCE: Productivity Commission's Report on Childcare and Early Childhood Learning (31 October 2014)

26 June 2018

Did you know … that the Federal Department of Education’s records show 86% in 2013, 90% in 2014, 91% in 2015, 91% in 2016 and 93% in 2017 of ALL CHILDCARE CENTRES were reporting they had vacancies. Why then is there no effective planning system?

REFERENCE:Federal Department of Education's Early Childhood and Child Care in Summary Reports

20 June 2018

Did you know … that for NSW Coalition Government's New Community Preschool Funding will not help 78.3% of all 3 year-old children? The NSW Treasurer (the Hon Dominic Perrottet MP) said “from 2019, in an Australian first, every three-year-old in New South Wales will now have access to subsidised early learning. That's part of an almost $200 million investment in our children, saving families on average $825 a year.” However, the vast majority (78,380 out of 100,079) of NSW-based 3 year-old children will to fail see any benefits from the latest NSW Government proposal.

14 June 2018

Did you know … that for childcare providers, the "National" Law is 165 pages long, the "National" Regulations is 177 pages, and the official government Guide to explain them was 414 pages in 2013 and 616 pages in 2018. And that’s after COAG’s Education Council reduced the number of standards from 58 to 40 and elements from 18 to 15 to streamline regulations! Is 958 pages of rules justified? Has childcare really become more complicated over the years?

REFERENCE:Submission to the Senate Select Committee on Red Tape (3 April 2018)

6 June 2018

Did you know … that a NSW-based child attending a preschool program in a long daycare centre attracts $456/year of Federal+NSW government funding, whereas a VIC-based child doing the same attracts $3,695/year and a QLD-based child attracts $2,011/year of Federal+state government investment. Why is a NSW-based child not of similar value?

1. Commonwealth Productivity Commission's Report 2018 on Government Services (ROGS) Table 3A.18 (click here)
2. National Partnership Agreement between Federal & NSW Governments relating to Universal Access funding (click here)

3. All National Partnership Agreements relating to Universal Access funding (click here)

30 May 2018

Did you know … that the NSW Government is so far behind in their assessment and rating program of childcare services that 24.93% (1,344) of all NSW-based childcare services are rated as not “Meeting the National Quality Standard”, with 16.7% (861) were not assessed and rated for up to 6 years. Under the previous system, every childcare service was assessed and rated every 1, 2 or 3 years. Have we not moved backwards? [NOTE: Statistics quoted above were sourced from the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) as of 7 February 2018.]

1. Early Childhood Education in NSW: A Better Direction (19 Mar 2018)
2. Collective letter to NSW Premier Berejiklian from 23 Early Childhood Education and Care peak bodies (25 May 2018)

3. Federal Budget 2018 cuts funding for future assessment and rating, compliance and ACECQA (21 May 2018)

25 May 2018

Did you know … from the last available quarterly report from the Federal Government, vacancy places in long day care centres rose to 122,000 in March 2017, the equivalent of 400 empty centres or most of the 489 nett new centres opened in last two years. Vacancies increased by 11% on last year, 24% over two years and 33% over 3 years. And they are still building. Why? And why not a proper planning system?

REFERENCE: Early Childhood and Child Care in Summary June quarter 2017 (created on 21 March 2018)

16 May 2018

Did you know that some childcare fees for 0-5 year olds are more expensive than sending teenagers to elite private schools in Sydney!

Watch NSW Minister for Early Childhood Education (the Hon Sarah Mitchell MLC) and NSW Labor (the Hon Courtney Houssos MLC) discuss this cost-of-living issue.

Reference: Appendix C - Childcare Fees vs Elite Private Schools in Sydney (March 2018)

20 February 2018

Did you know … that the Federal Government has introduced a new Grandparents Visa to provide a cheaper alternative to formal early childhood education and care. 

While it is wonderful for children to have strong relationships with their grandparents, this policy does not take into account that children’s brains increase in size by 385% in the first five years of their life and as such it is imperative that they have access to an early childhood education. Crucial early learning occurs in the first five years and it is important for all children to have access to the enriching, developmentally appropriate education that trained educators can provide.

This two-tiered approach undermines the Commonwealth’s objectives for children through its own National Quality Framework for early childhood education and care. Australia is already lagging behind in many educational measures - what are YOU going to do to fix this problem?

14 February 2018

NSW families pay the nation's highest childcare fees because we have the most costly regulations in the country. While NSW families are facing ever-rising cost-of-living issues, its not fair that the cost of childcare should be so high for us. This is because the National Quality Framework is not national and NSW families are paying the price for it. What are YOU going to do to help NSW families?

7 February 2018

Did you know … that ever since the introduction on 1 January 2011 of lower educator:children ratios for 0-24 month old children and on 1 January 2016 for 2 year old children in childcare service, there has been a rise in complaints by parents who cannot find childcare for their young children, especially babies and two year olds. This is because the lowering of the ratios without offsetting the increased operational cost of providing childcare to those children rendered those childcare places less affordable to NSW families.

2 February 2018

Did you know … that there are NSW-specific regulations that require NSW childcare centres to hire up to 4 Early Childhood Teachers (see note 1 below) when all other states/territories (see note 2 below) just need 1-1.25 teacher up to 6 hours a day or 60% of opening hours? Such irregularity between states forces fees for NSW parents to be more onerous than in the other states/territories.

NOTE 1: NSW Regulation 272 – Education and Care Services Regulation – New South Wales specific provisions (click here)
NOTE 2: National Regulations' Division 5 – Requirements for educators who are early childhood teachers (click here)

23 January 2018

Did you know … that in many areas particularly across Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Coffs Harbour, there are now arguably too many childcare services and/or places to satisfy local demands. So much so that affected childcare centres’ occupancy levels are dropping, which is eventuating in centres being forced to increase childcare fees for the remaining attending families to cover regulatory and other fixed operational costs - especially rentals - to allow the centre to remain viable. This explains why being left to market forces does not put downward pressure on childcare fees in areas of oversupply.