Child Care fees see big bounce back as “free care” policy expires according to ABS

by Jason Roberts

October 29, 2020

Child care prices across Australia staged a large bounce back as the free child care policy introduced in April 2020 to combat the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was removed and a snap back to the Child Care Subsidy system occurred on 13 July 2020.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in its latest Consumer Price Index data release for the three months ended September 2020, noted that prices across Australian metropolitan areas jumped 1,362 per cent compared to the previous quarter, although overall levels are still 24.4 per cent below last year. 

During the quarter all states and territories, with the exception of Victoria, returned to a fee charging early education and care environment with the reintroduction of the Child Care Subsidy system on 13 July 2020.


Overall prices rebounded to levels that, on an index basis, were around 10 per cent below the same period last year driven largely by the inclusion of eight days of the “free childcare” package in the data and also a commitment for all services receiving “transition payments” to not increase fees whilst receiving payments. 

Prices in Melbourne however, are still 67 per cent below the same period last year due to the factors raised above but also circumstances around the reintroduction of Stage 4 Lockdown in July 2020. 


To read the ABS’s CPI summary for the September 2020 quarter please click here.