Childcare waiting lists growing in the Illawarra

CONTRIBUTORS

Many Illawarra day care centres have waiting lists in the hundreds making it common for families to have a two-year wait for care, particularly for very young children.

Big Fat Smile CEO, Bill Feld told WIN News this week “Our review of waiting lists shows an increase of more than 20% since this time last year”.

“Successive Australian Governments have encouraged increased workforce participation, particularly by women.  This is adding to childcare demand, but there aren’t enough centres to meet the demand”.

“Child care is a high cost business and encouragement is needed for operators to build new centres, particularly in areas where land costs are high”.

Big Fat Smile has opened several new centres to meet growing demand and has gained government approval to add additional childcare places at long day care centres in Corrimal and Kiama Downs, with approval for additional places at Bulli pending.

“The Productivity Commission is nearing the end of its review into child care and it would be great to see incentives for commercial and not-for-profit operators to build more centres, wherever they are needed”.

Mr Feld added “Initiatives to encourage more family day care would also assist, as would bringing nannies under the Early Years Learning Framework to ensure appropriate regulation and high standards of care”.