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The cost of childcare
Posted 4:59 PM on Sat-9-Oct-2010

A recent study by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) has reported that working New Zealand families pay 28 per cent of their net income on childcare, whether it be kindergarten, nannies, preschool, daycare, etc. This is the fourth highest percentage in the group of 32 industrialised nations. The OECD average is 13 per cent. Only Ireland, Switzerland and the UK have higher costs (the British pay 33 per cent).

This from the Daily Mail in the UK: "The most recent figures show that in the UK, the cost of a full-time under-two's nursery place is 167 pound (NZ$366) a week - rising to as high as 375 pound (NZ$823) a week in areas like central London. This works out as more than 18,000 pound (almost NZ$40,000) a year."

To me, 28 per cent seems very high. Now, the area I live in is by no means wealthy and yes, the school my kids attend is classed as a low decile school. So perhaps I'm a little naive in believing that childcare can't possibly be costing that much. Maybe it does in the swankier suburbs?! Now that my two boys are school-age and as I work from home I don't pay anything for childcare (yeah!). Previously my boys attended the local kindergarten where the younger benefited from 20 hours ECE thereby costing us nothing and when the eldest was attending it would have been about 1.5 - 2% of our net income for fees (4 hours per day, 5 days per week).

Having family in the UK I know that the cost of childcare there is phenomenally high. Very often that means that mothers are working just to pay the childcare. Family members use a childminder (unqualified) as the cost is lower and they can be more flexible.

The fact that New Zealand has come out quite high in the standings may be an indication of the professionalism of our childcare providers, ie fully registered teachers.

Are you paying out a high amount of your net income on childcare? Do you feel that you get value for money?

Posted by JulieKidspotter


Comments (4)

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sara - 10:33 AM on Sun-17-Oct-2010  
Wow, 28%, we're nowhere near that, although my 4 year old does less preschool than I'd like and that's purely due to the cost. He qualifies for 20 free hours, plus we have to pay a surcharge of $2.75 per hour, so a 6 hr preschool day costs $16.50, and we can afford two days per week.

If I was working and my two year old was also at preschool that'd be another $35 per day. The most I could work would be 5 hrs (the preschool is only open 8.30-2.30), and from that net income of maybe $80 I'd pay out $51.50 in childcare. That'd only leave $28.50, less travel costs, which is hardly worth the effort, plus our family tax credit/family support would be reduced.
SarahK - 12:20 PM on Thu-14-Oct-2010  
I have to agree with you there mumof3girls! School is cheap childcare! Well, it was until Intermediate school anyway. But seeming i knew that intermediate and high school were expensive, we have actually been saving since our second child started school. I run homebased care in our home, mainly because i couldn't bare the tought of putting our youngest into daycare to get sick all the time. But its also great, as the childcare for her is FREE!! yus!
mumof3girls - 12:50 PM on Mon-11-Oct-2010  
ohhhhh i am so glad i am past all this - school is very very cheap childcare!
my3sons - 5:27 PM on Sat-9-Oct-2010  
Unfortunately we do pay alot for childcare here in NZ, so much so, that it wasnt viable for me to return to work earning around 50k per year, after having our youngest - because it would mean having 2 children (at the time both under 2yrs) in childcare - the cheapest suitable centre I could find would have cost $600 per week for my two - fulltime, once petrol, parking, packing lunches were added - going to back to work would have left us -$20 per week. I live in Auckland (South Auckland - so we arent talking Ponsonby or Parnell!) & we werent entitled to any government assistance. Most of the childcare centres are also privately owned & run for profit, so charge hefty fee's, community centres are really hard to get into & usually have waitlists years & years long.


   
 
 
 
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