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Find out how much childcare costs in your suburb

Founder Roxanne Elliott said costings were worked out before government subsidies kick in, and were powered by a database of 23,000 childcare providers, updated constantly.

“The cost of childcare is high, particularly when you get to two children,” Ms Elliott said.

“There are lots of discussions on mums’ groups, about whether it is really worth returning to work when it could cost them more than what their salary or income is.

“A lot of people are crunching the numbers to see what is most cost effective.”

Ms Elliott said the average cost of childcare in Australia was estimated at $106.39 each day, before subsidies.

“We have found what has impacted on the cost of childcare is the price of land or cost of leasing a property for childcare services. In affluent suburbs the cost is usually higher,” she said.

Find out the average cost of childcare for your postcode by typing it into the interactive below

Across south-east Queensland, the most expensive postcodes for daycare centres were all in Brisbane, the priciest being the CBD, which was $129.15 each day.

But Queensland’s capital city was still remarkably cheaper for a day of childcare compared with the Sydney CBD ($158.98) and the Melbourne CBD ($142.99).

Queensland’s wealthiest suburbs, Ascot and Hamilton, came in 23rd place; cheaper than outer-city suburbs such as Brookfield and Kedron.

Top 10 most expensive

  1. Brisbane CBD – $129.15
  2. Milton/Paddington – $122.92
  3. Balmoral/Bulimba/Hawthorne – $121
  4. Sinnamon Park/Seventeen Mile Rocks – $119.22
  5. Fortitude Valley/Bowen Hills – $119.14
  6. Annerley/Fairfield – $118.51
  7. Chapel Hill/Kenmore/Brookfield – $117.50
  8. Tarragindi/Holland Park – $116.25
  9. Kangaroo Point/East Brisbane – $115
  10. Greenslopes – $114.29

Twenty-nine south-east Queensland postcodes came in above the national average of $106.39, while 129 postcodes were below the national average.

All postcodes on both the Sunshine and Gold Coasts were below the national average, except for Noosa Heads where an average day of daycare costs $109.17.

Top 10 cheapest

  1. Bethania – $75
  2. Bracalba/Wamuran – $79
  3. Redbank Plains –$79.42
  4. Woodridge/Logan Central – $81.06
  5. Petrie –$82.06
  6. Bundamba – $82.30
  7. Bald Hills – $83.08
  8. Alexandra Hills- $83.17
  9. Blackbutt/Fernvale –$83.81
  10. Boronia Heights – $85.06

Derek and Anna Matheve send their two sons, aged two and five, to daycare at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, where they both work.

Mr Matheve works full-time as a casting technician, fitting plasters on broken bones. His wife works part-time as a physiotherapist, together they bring home about $125,000 a year.

The two boys spend three days a week at the hospital daycare, at a cost of about $11,000 a year after subsidies.

While the daily cost of childcare has shot up since their eldest son started there about five years ago, better subsidies means they are actually paying less.

“I think we started off paying $98, but under the old subsidy scheme we were out-of-pocket about $400 a week, now it is it is remarkably cheaper.

“We are now only out-of-pocket around $212 a week for both children. We have been using the money to reduce our mortgage.”

Last year the Coalition rolled several payments into a new, single “childcare subsidy” and increased payments to low- and middle-income earners, they did this by putting an extra $2.5 billion into the system.

Under their policy, families with a combined income of up to $66,958 get 85 per cent of their childcare fees paid (based on an hourly rate cap).

The Coalition governmentrolled several payments into a new, single "childcare subsidy" in 2018.

The Coalition governmentrolled several payments into a new, single “childcare subsidy” in 2018.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The subsidy tapers down to 20 per cent for those earning $341,248 and those earning above that receive nothing.

Under the old system, every child received a $7500 subsidy over the financial year, regardless of how much their parents earned or whether they worked.

What have the major parties promised this election campaign?

Coalition

Having already overhauled the childcare payments system in 2018, the Coalition has not made any new announcements.

Labor

Labor has promised to slash the cost of childcare for almost a million families, announcing a $4 billion package over four years.

Similar to current system, the subsidy gradually slides down as incomes increase, with better deals for lower income earners than under the Coalition’s plan.

Labor announced a $4 billion package over four years.

Labor announced a $4 billion package over four years. Credit:Nick Moir

Families earning up to $69,527 a year would get their childcare completely free, provided the fees were under the government’s cap of $11.77 an hour.

Those making a combined earning up to $174,527 would also see a boost in subsidy rates.

Labor also promised to give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) a new role of investigating excessive fee increases to try and crack down on childcare operators who jack up fees.

Greens

If the Greens win government, they have promised to make childcare free for families with a combined income of up to $171,958, the most generous scheme of the three parties.

They would also raise the rate of subsidy for all other families with a combined income of less than $351,248.

“This increase in the annual income test will ensure that four out of five families will become eligible for entirely free child care,” their website claims.

The Greens have also vowed to abolish the “activity test”, which determines the number of hours of subsidised child care that families have access to.

Lydia Lynch is a reporter for the Brisbane Times

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