It’s cheaper to quit job: Mum

Opinion: Childcare cuts will send home those who should be in the workforce

A WODONGA mother says rising childcare costs may force her out of the workforce.

Full-time worker Ester Gannon rejects a government report claiming families are spending a lower proportion of their income on childcare.

She said childcare costs for sons Ollie, 3, and Bailey, 18 months, would rise by $180 next month to $1380 a fortnight.

Ms Gannon said the couple were considering whether they should pay the fee rises, or if she should quit her job and reduce their childcare costs by staying at home with her children.

“I have worked hard to get my job and I love it,” she said.

“We are set to start building our family home at the end of this year, however we will be putting that on hold for a while.

“If I am forced to quit, we will have to scrap the idea of building a house altogether and will have to survive on our savings.”

The couple have been told childcare costs are on the rise as centres employ additional staff to meet increased ratios of children to staff of 4:1, up from the previous 5:1.

Her husband Jason said while parents would welcome that move, they would not appreciate being hit by associated rising costs.

“The government has done all the things to increase the level of care but they have not done anything to accommodate the rising fees,” he said.

“What is the point of Ester working if all her pay is funding the childcare bill?”

Ms Gannon said a story in The Border Mail last week highlighted the federal government report that claimed increased taxpayer subsidies had cut out-of-pocket costs to families, in some cases by almost half.

“It annoyed me really, I had just been telling my boss that my childcare costs had increased,” she said.

“The only people who are benefiting are families where one or both parents do not work as they are the ones getting very cheap childcare.

“I know of a mother who is paying $30 a fortnight to have her three children in care two to three days a week — it hardly seems fair.

“I think that if childcare was dearer for those who do not work, but feel the need to place their children into care several days a week because the fees are low, it might encourage them to seek employment, or at the very least it would open up places for families where both parents work.”

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