THE rising costs for childcare have been blamed for financially crippling some Toowoomba families.

But one mother has found her way around that.

Cambooya mother-of-three Alecia Staines has been paying for an au pair for 18 months and said the trend was catching on.

"I found the prices of childcare too expensive, combined with travel to get there. As there is no day care in Cambooya, it worked out cheaper for me to get an au pair," she said.

"I know a lot of other families are in a similar situation, who also may have to pay before and after school care, so have instead opted for an au pair."

With fees predicted to rise by 14 per cent in 2017, Ms Staines said families were exploring their options.

"I think there is choice and there's certainly enough supply for the demand of child care but things have changed in the last few years and a lot more families are looking at options for price and flexibility," she said.

"We've had Canadian, Italian, French and Swedish au pairs," she said.

Is childcare too expensive in Toowoomba?

This poll ended on 18 February 2016.

Current Results

Yes

90%

No

9%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"It's far more than just saving money; it's the time, the culture experience that the children get and the au pairs benefit too, they get a family they can live with."

Her six-year-old son Lawson was particularly fond of their latest au pair, a South Korean national called Mindy.

The Department of Social Services expects the costs of long day care to increase 6.5% this financial year, and 7.3% by July next year.

North Toowoomba childcare centre The Funberry Kids director Rachel Costigan said the increase some centres were charging was unnecessary.

"It's obviously the government ratio; you require more educators to children than ever before," she said.

"Centres put them (fees) up because parents are entitled to rebate so they think they're getting this money back but they still have to find that money in the first place."

Ms Costigan said consulting parents on fee increases was imperative. "We always talked to parents before we put a fee rise up. Every two years it went up $2 a day, but we haven't raised our fees in two years," she said.

"We talked to parents and everything else in their budget had gone up and they couldn't afford the rise."

FACEBOOK COMMENTS:

Melissa Miller: We have recently relocated here from NZ (New Zealand) and I looked at continuing my boy in child care for couple days but just can't afford it with me not working and even if I was working all my pay would go to it not making it worthwhile. In NZ I was paying about $30 for 10 hours care (spilt over two days), here I was quoted between $85-95 per day and we get no benefits.

Tj Barton: I'd like to know why day care is so expensive for the parents that work? How is it fair that parents who want to work have majority of their pay going to daycares where as parents who don't work so have no real need to have their child in day care but get it really cheap anyway?

Michelle Burke: An extremely underpaid profession for the responsibility the educators have. Children with medical conditions, behaviour problems, poor hygiene and custody issues are common place. These people do it for the love of children and to give these children a better future.

Temmony Hahn: Ours is going up to $88 a day in February but I love the centre that my bub goes to and it includes nappies and food. We don't get child care benefit and once the rebate runs out in February will be paying $880 a fortnight. I have just been putting extra away for the rest of the year so that I can cover it. There are others who have it worse than us and it is all part of the cost of having kids.

Kaz Scurr: Just a thought... Maybe you should also incorporate in your article how underpaid childcare workers are. Many of which are required to do courses and at the end of it get paid bugger all to do the most important job in the world: raising the next generation. So where does all the money go?



Terrifying break-ins have residents on edge

premium_icon Terrifying break-ins have residents on edge

"He left female underwear behind and also left blood in our sink"

Rescue plan for Lismore CBD a 'long time coming'

premium_icon Rescue plan for Lismore CBD a 'long time coming'

Bold initiative passes 6 votes to 5

'Living hell': Airbnb style holiday letting a 'cancer'

premium_icon 'Living hell': Airbnb style holiday letting a 'cancer'

"We don't have neighbours... we have strangers, coming and going".

Local Partners