Child care price show 1.2% rise in Q2 2021, moderating after strong gains in Q1 2021
Child care prices rose again in the three months ended June 2021 but at a slower pace than the strong increases recorded at the beginning of the year according to the latest CPI report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Prices rose by 1.2 per cent compared to the three months ended March 2021, a substantial reduction from the strong 2.5 percent increase recorded last quarter and more in line with increases experienced over the same period in previous years.
That being said, it is important to recognise that operator behaviour when it comes to fee increases has been materially impacted by COVID-19, and in particular the free child care and sector support policies of 2020 when fee increase freezes were imposed as a condition of participation as well as rolling lockdowns in recent months.
A clearer picture of just how these dynamics have impacted fee decisions will develop in the months and quarters ahead.
Overall fee levels above pre CCS levels for second quarter in a row
The indexed level of fees across Australia was reported at 160.3, the second quarter in a row levels have exceeded the previous high point achieved just prior to the implementation of the new Child Care Subsidy legislation in July 2018.
With respect to how the individual metropolitan cities across Australia’s states and territories are tracking Sydney and Brisbane fees are now around 6.0 per cent higher than pre CCS and Melbourne and Canberra around 6.0 per cent lower.
The other capital cities are now tracking in a band of 2.0 per cent plus or minus which also includes Australia as a whole.
Sydney records largest increase in quarter but others report lower rises than Q1 2021
After reporting a very substantial 3.5 per cent quarterly increase in Q1 2021, Sydney saw increases fall to 2.0 per cent which although lower, was still materially higher than its peers across Australia.
All of the other cities recorded increases below 1.0 per cent with Brisbane, Darwin and Canberra recording less than 0.5 per cent increases with the moderation in Brisbane and Canberra following large increases last quarter.
To review the ABS CPI data please click here.