Raising a child in Australia is a rewarding and joyful experience for most parents however it can also be very costly with the cost varying between states.

How does the cost of childcare vary between the states?

We had a look at the cost of childcare in every state so you have a rough idea of what you can expect to pay based on where you live and can plan ahead. All of these costs are before the government’s childcare subsidies have been taken into account.

NSW

Sydney’s north shore and eastern suburbs have some of the most expensive childcare centres in the whole country. In the North Sydney-Mosman area, parents can expect to spend an average of $145.50 per day. The area’s fees can be as high as $177 at other childcare centres. The average fee around greater Sydney was $110 per day and for the entire state, it was $107 per day before government subsidies.

Victoria

If you’re in Victoria then the cost of childcare can prevent mothers returning to work with couples reporting that the cost is so high that it doesn’t make sense for them to return to work. In some cases, the cost of childcare is now higher than private school fees. The average daily cost of childcare in Glen Eira and Bayside was reported in the first quarter of 2020 as being $12.70 per hour or $129.20 per day. That increases to $166 in Malvern/Toorak. The state average was $$107 per day and in greater Melbourne, the average was $109. The daily cost for childcare in a centre can range from $70 to $185 per day.

Queensland

The cost of childcare varies significantly depending on the suburb you are in. If you’re in the Logan suburb of Bethania or close to the Sunshine Coast in Wamuran, you can expect your childcare fees to be an average of $77. If you are in Brisbane CBD or the inner-city suburb of Milton you’ll pay an average of $126 per day. At an average of $104 throughout the state Queensland has some of the cheapest childcare in the country and is lower than the national daily average of $112.

ACT

Childcare in the Australian Capital Territory sits at an average of $117 per day, which is amongst the highest in the country. Unlike other states and territories, most ACT childcare centres do not offer childcare early in the morning or the evening.

South Australia

If you’re raising a child in Adelaide’s CBD the cost varies from $45 to $136 per day. It’s important to know that some of the cheaper childcare centres are not meeting the national quality standards. Childcare in Elizabeth South is slightly cheaper with a maximum daily rate of $117.

Tasmania

Tasmanian parents will feel the sting when paying for childcare, with some parents paying as much as $30,000 per year. That equates to $625 per week or $125 per day. The cost does still vary between suburbs, with childcare in the Hobart suburb of Bellerive costing an average of $125 per day. Launceston is slightly cheaper at $115 per day. The cheapest childcare is $73 just outside of Launceston in Perth. Childcare in Burnie is a little bit higher at $84 per day.

Northern Territory

Families living in Darwin can expect to pay over $30,000 on childcare which is 50% higher than parents in other areas of the Northern Territory. The average daily rate of childcare in Darwin is $130 per day with fees ranging from $124 in Wagaman to $111 in Berrimah. If you’re outside of Darwin, in The Gap you’ll pay $85 per day and in Alice Springs the cost is $89 per day.

WA

Western Australia’s capital has the most expensive childcare in the country with costs as high as $203 per day. The cost of childcare drops to $130 per day in Nedlands or as low as $64 in Highgate. Outside of Perth, in Broome childcare will set families back $132 per day or $115 in Northam.

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