Media release first posted 18/04/2023.
The ACCC is asking parents and guardians for their views on childcare services in Australia, as part of its year-long inquiry into the sector.
Parents and guardians are invited to complete a short online survey to share their experiences when looking for and using childcare services in Australia.
The ACCC is seeking to understand people’s preferences when it comes to childcare, including whether there are potential barriers to accessing the right types of childcare and whether childcare services are affordable. The perspectives of parents and guardians who don’t currently use childcare will also be useful to the ACCC’s inquiry.
“Affordable, accessible and quality childcare is crucial for Australian families and the health of the Australian economy, including by supporting higher levels of participation in work and training,” ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.
“We want to hear directly from parents and guardians so our work on the Childcare inquiry can provide a complete picture of the factors impacting the price and availability of childcare in Australia.”
The survey asks about preferences and experiences when looking for childcare including how parents and guardians evaluated different childcare services, how many waitlists they joined, and whether waiting for a place delayed return to employed work, volunteering or study. The ACCC is also interested in hearing from those who may have switched childcare services and the reasons for this.
“We want this report to reflect the diverse needs and experiences of families across the country,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb said.
“First Nations families, culturally and linguistically diverse families and parents and carers of children with a disability or complex needs are strongly encouraged to take part.”
The survey is open until 31 May 2023 and can be completed anonymously.
Information collected from this survey will shape the ACCC’s reports due to the Treasurer on 30 June and 31 December 2023.
Parents and carers from linguistically diverse communities who would like help understanding and responding to the survey can call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.
On October 28, 2022, the Treasurer directed the ACCC to conduct an inquiry into the market for the supply of childcare services, and the Childcare Inquiry commenced on 1 January 2023. The ACCC is consulting widely as part of the inquiry, including through roundtables with stakeholder groups, issuing information requests to providers, and conducting site visits to meet with small and medium childcare providers.
An interim report will be provided to the Treasurer in June 2023. This interim report will focus primarily on prices for childcare services and certain costs associated with the provision of services.
A final report that covers the full range of issues identified and considered by the inquiry is due to the Treasurer by 31 December 2023.
More information about the Childcare Inquiry is available on the ACCC website.