Yuppies clogging childcare

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First Grader
MORE than 100,000 working women can't get childcare because non-working mothers who want time off for personal reasons are using the places.

A further 120,000 places are being taken up by kids whose families think childcare is good for their child, not because they need it for work.
Many places are used by mums on temporary maternity leave who must keep their child in care to avoid losing their place.

The figures also fuel claims affluent mothers who choose not to work are using childcare to prop up their lifestyle – or because they want their children "socialised" at public expense.

An Australian Bureau of Statistics survey revealed yesterday our childcare crisis is caused by more than one in three children using the system for a non work-related reason.

It has quantified the childcare crisis by calculating that 188,000 children need an average extra 3? days care each week but their parents either can't get one or can't afford one.

More than 100,000 of these childcare places are needed so the parent can go to work or look for a job.
Nearly 130,000 parents want more childcare but said they could not use it because it cost too much.

The survey found parents of more than 105,000 children were spending more than $100 a week on childcare.

The average weekly cost of long day care was $70, before and after school care cost an average of $26 a week.

The problem was worst in the long daycare sector, where just 57.5 per cent of children were there for work-related reasons.

One in four children using long day care are there because their parents think it's beneficial for the child and 14.5 per cent for personal reasons.

Government policy requires childcare centres give working parents priority when allocating places but this policy is not policed.

When The Daily Telegraph checked last year it was told no childcare centre had ever been forced to kick out a child using care for non work-related reasons to make way for the child of a working mother.

Childcare Associations of Australia president Anne Clark said yesterday there was no compliance check on centres to enforce the priority of access rules.

Labor childcare spokeswoman Tanya Pliberseck said the Federal Government had a good policy on prioritising the use of childcare places but "they should enforce it".

Family and Community Services Minister Mal Brough told The Daily Telegraph he would be cracking down on childcare centres that did not give working parents priority.

Graphic designer Amanda Rollison said, despite placing her son's name on waiting lists at five Bondi childcare centres while pregnant, she had still not been offered a place for her 20-month-old boy Issey.

"I was ringing every six months and they would say there is no way I would get a place if I'd only had his name down for a year," Mrs Rollison said.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics survey found 48 per cent of children aged under 11 used childcare.

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