Latest inflation data sees child care prices rise by 2.1 per cent in September quarter

Latest inflation data sees child care prices rise by 2.1 per cent in September quarter

by Jason Roberts

October 28, 2021

Child care prices rose by 2.1 per cent in the three months ended September 2021 compared to the three months ended June 2021 across the metropolitan cities of Australia according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) CPI data as prices continue to rebound post COVID-19 disrupted 2020. 


The quarterly rise of 2.1 per cent, which is calculated by the ABS as the percentage increase in prices after the application of the Child Care Subsidy, remains relatively anchored compared to the high increases passed in the 2012 to 2016 period but continues to creep higher. 

Notably, prices are now 9.9 per cent higher on the ABS measure compared to September 2019, compared to a 3.7 per cent increase over the same period for general prices across all goods and services in Australia. 


Looking over the longer term, child care prices are now moving more assuredly into record territory above the peak recorded in June 2018 just prior to the implementation of the CCS legislation.

With respect to how the individual metropolitan cities across Australia states and territories are tracking since the CCS introduction five of the nine regions are now above June 2018 levels, with Perth reporting a sizable 4.0 per cent increase this quarter pushing it firmly above the previous high threshold. 

Melbourne remains the key standout affordability wise compared to pre CCS levels with prices still around 4.7 per cent lower. Brisbane, on the other hand, is the least affordable on the same timeline with prices 8.7 per cent higher. 


Looking ahead, affordability levels are likely to be given another legislative boost next year when the Australian Government’s measures to increase subsidy percentages for families with more than one child and remove the annual cap of $10,560 per child are introduced. 


Although not as substantial as the CCS shift in July 2018 these changes will bring down prices as measured by the ABS with the changes being reflected in the March 2022 quarterly release. 


To access the latest figures please see here