Australian families can compare childcare services and their fees following the launch of the Morrison Government’s new website: StartingBlocks.gov.au.
Families can visit StartingBlocks.gov.au to find local childcare services, view vacancies, compare costs, and check official quality ratings, including safety.
Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP encouraged all families to visit the website and said it will have special appeal to the 250,000 families with more than one child aged under six who will get a higher subsidy soon.
“Childcare costs can place a great amount of pressure on families, that is why our Federal Government is committed to helping families save money, so they can keep more of what they make in their own wallets, Mr Vasta said.
“StartingBlocks will also provide quality ratings for things such as safety standards, this will mean families can feel more certain when they are making the decision on where to send their children for childcare.”
On average, families will be better off $2,260 per year, with families with three children in care saving up to $370 a week on out-of-pocket costs.
Acting Minister for Education and Youth, Stuart Robert MP, said the website gives parents a new central place to make important choices about the early education and care needs for their children.
“I’m particularly excited because thousands of families will be able to see the significant savings they’ll make when the higher Child Care Subsidy we introduced comes into effect on 7 March,” Minister Robert said.
“The website features two new very cool tools to help families make one of their most important decisions—who is going to look after and educate their children in these formative years.
“The first feature is a comparison checker for families to assess services against each other and determine which one is best for them. The second main feature is a simple-to-use calculator where families can plug in their details and get an estimate of their out-of-pocket costs.
“In only a few clicks, on mobile, laptop or desktop computer, parents can get accurate and current information to help them find the right service for their kids.’
“We know how critical childcare is to around one million Australian families. It is why the Morrison Government has invested heavily in early childhood education and care,’ Minister Robert said.
“Next financial year, the Morrison Government will invest around $11 billion in the childcare system to reduce costs for families and support workforce participation.
“In December, we removed the annual cap for all families who are eligible for childcare.”
CEO of the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), Gabrielle Sinclair said children deserve the best quality early education and care, and StartingBlocks is an easy way to navigate Australia’s more than 16,500 approved early childhood education and care services.
“As the national authority, ACECQA is pleased to work with the Australian Government to reduce complexity for parents by enhancing StartingBlocks as the government-approved website to find and compare quality ratings, vacancies, fees and service inclusions in one convenient location.”
StartingBlocks.gov.au replaces the existing Child Care Finder website and reduces burden on approved providers of early education and care services, who no longer need to provide their fee and vacancy data separately to Child Care Finder.