The worsening situation in the Australian childcare sector, as highlighted by a national survey of centres' fees and availability, shows that the Abbott Government must increase support for centres and families, not cut it in the upcoming Federal Budget.
"Parents are being forced to pay more for childcare while waiting lists are growing across the country," the Greens' childcare spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
"Too many Australian parents are coming up against a brick wall when it comes to getting their children into care.
"The number of centres with waiting lists that are over a year long has dramatically increased across the country in the last 12 months.
"With many parents paying over $100 a day for a place, it's clear that families are struggling to cover the costs and the Government must do what it can to help keep fees down."
The survey, carried out annually by the Australia Greens, recorded the fees, availability and waiting lists of 294 childcare centres across the country and has provided a worrying snapshot of the sector.
"In one city, only 2% of centres have full time positions available for babies while, in others, parents are paying almost $110 a day for care," Senator Hanson-Young said.
"With fears that the Abbott Government is poised to cut funding and quality requirements, parents are facing an uphill battle to get their kids into affordable, first-rate care."
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