Childcare fee increases - how will they affect you?
By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
SPECULATION has been rife throughout the Gladstone region about the possibility childcare fees may increase by up to $4 per day in July.
Childcare operators have warned they may have to up their fees if wages of childcare staff increase as expected. Large childcare chains were expected to raise their prices in July.
Marion Hayes from the Rainbow Valley Early Learning Centre shrugged off the reports, saying the industry in Queensland has been threatening wage increases for staff for years.
"Yes, Queensland childcare workers are the lowest paid out of the eastern states,'' she said.
"But I haven't heard about any proposed wage increase.''
Neither has Julie Shannon from Stepping Stones Child Care Centre.
"Our fees went up at the start of the year but that was in line with projected budget estimates,'' she said.
In fact most childcare centres increase their fees annually.
Jo Turnbull has four children in childcare and she was devastated by the thought of such a large increase.
"Raising it $4 a day would be a killer,'' she said.
"As it is childcare is frightfully expensive but you accept it as part of life.
"However, if it goes up by that much I would seriously consider not working.
"And I have always worked, but a rise of this size would basically mean working for nothing because my wage would be going to pay childcare bills.''
Libby Small has two children in childcare part-time.
"Any increase in fees would be a big thing for us,'' she said.
"I am studying at the moment so we are fortunate to be able to afford childcare for the two days per week,'' she said.