• Caulfield Glen Eira Leader
  • Jenny Ling

Parents’ rising anger

Council childcare will be costly affair

AN INCREASE in fees at councilrun childcare centres has angered a Caulfield North father. Tasman Tudor said he would have to find alternative childcare for his two young children after receiving a letter from Glen Eira Council about rising costs.

Tasman and Brigid Tudor (with Maddison and Jasper) are concerned over the rise of childcare  costs.Under standard annual council increases effective this month, fees for three to five-year-olds will increase from $79 to $85 a day. For children aged up to three years of age, charges will rise from $85 to $91 a day.

And from next January, state government changes to child/staff ratios for under three-year-olds mean fees will increase a further $25 a day, from $91 to $116.

Ratios will change from one staff member for every five children to one for every four children in a bid to improve quality childcare.

Mr Tudor, whose two-year-old son is enrolled at Carnegie children’s centre, wants to enrol his one-year-old daughter next year for two days a week. ‘‘That’s $120 a week more,’’ Mr Tudor said. ‘‘The figures don’t add up as to why such an increase is justified.’’

Council spokesman Paul Burke said the rules ‘‘aim to improve quality care for children under three and require a substantially larger and more highly qualified workforce’’. ‘‘The consequence of these changes is that the cost to care for children under three is now significantly higher than caring for children in the three-to-five age group,’’ Mr Burke said.

Cr Neil Pilling said he was disappointed the council adopted the full price rise. ‘‘I understand the ratios have to change and there’s a need for a rise . . . but something less would have been a better outcome,’’ Cr Pilling said.