More parents will need to be educated about how to be more flexible with their finances.
A new survey of 500 parents shows some parents are having more trouble finding the cash they need to cover the cost of child care, while others struggle to make ends meet and struggle to find a flexible payment plan.
The study, by Childcare Aware, shows more than half (54 per cent) of parents said they had made little or no money on child care and only one in 10 (8 per cent ) said they were making enough money to cover expenses.
“Childcare is a huge cost, especially for parents of small children,” said Christine Lees, CEO of Childcare Awareness.
“We’ve seen a lot of changes in the last five years and I think the number of parents with child care is increasing and we’ve seen that the parents of young children are being asked to make choices about child care.”
Parents may feel they can afford to make payments to pay for childcare, but not many can afford the upfront costs.
“Parents need to understand that the costs of childcare can be very significant,” Ms Lees said.
“The amount of money that parents are required to pay will depend on many factors including the amount of childcare they have, the length of the stay at home, and whether or not they are able to take care of their child.”
Ms Lees says the biggest challenge parents have with childcare is finding a flexible pay-as-you-go payment plan that works for them.
“Many parents feel that they can’t afford the additional cost of childcare, so they’re looking for other options,” she said.
“We have found that the best way to support families is to provide flexibility in their pay-go arrangements so that parents don’t feel they have to sacrifice on child support.”
In the survey, parents were asked to indicate how much they had contributed towards their child’s care and what they thought was the appropriate amount of time a child should spend with their parent.
More than one in three (36 per cent of parents) said they made little to no money for child care but did make more than they should have.
The survey also found parents were more likely to say they would take out a loan for child support if they could get the money.
Almost half (47 per cent, or 41 per cent in the majority of cases) of those surveyed said they would borrow money for the child’s child support, compared to 36 per cent who said they wouldn’t.
More parents (50 per cent), however, said they did not want to take out loans for child welfare.
Almost two-thirds (65 per cent or 65 per cent on both sides) said parents had little or nothing to give for child maintenance and child support payments.
In addition, almost half of parents (47 percent) said the cost to care for a child is higher than what they could make from their own income.
This is largely because of higher costs related to childcare (36 to 35 per cent).
Childcare Aware has published the results of its survey, Childcare Education in Australia: Lessons Learned, on its website.