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Under threes will pay higher fees

Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

23 August 2005

Under threes will pay higher fees

"About half of all parents of children under three will pay higher childcare fees under Labour's childcare policy," says National's Education spokesman Bill English.

Private centres charge anything from $2 to $12 an hour for three-and four-year-olds, depending on the number of staff, location and type of service.

"Unless Labour pay a government subsidy that covers all fees, childcare centres won't be able to cover their total costs for three- and four-year-olds.

"Parents of under threes will end up paying more to cover the difference, as will parents whose children attend more than 20 hours of childcare.

"Only 26,000 three- and four-year-olds will benefit from Labour's extension of their childcare policy

"Under National's policy, around 140,000 children under five will be eligible for more affordable childcare.

"We will introduce a tax deduction on childcare expenses incurred by working parents, up to $5,000 per child per year, equal to a maximum refund of $1,650 per child.

"The tax deduction will give parents choices over the type of care they use, the hours they use it and the age of the children using it," says Mr English.

ENDS

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