Far North Queensland families can now compare childcare services and their fees following the launch of a new government website.
Families can visit www.StartingBlocks.gov.au to find local childcare services, view vacancies, compare costs, and check official quality ratings, including safety.
Acting Education and Youth Minister Stuart Robert said the website gives parents a new central place to make important choices about the early education and care needs for their children.
“I am particularly excited because thousands of families will be able to see the significant savings they will make when the higher Child Care Subsidy we introduced comes into effect on March 7,” Mr 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.”
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch encouraged all families to visit the website and said it will have special appeal to Far North Queensland families with more than one child aged under six who will get a higher subsidy soon.
He said on average, families will be better off $2260 per year, with families with three children in care saving up to $370 a week on out-of-pocket costs.
“We know how critical childcare is to Far North Queensland families. It is why the Morrison Government has invested heavily in early childhood education and care,” Mr Entsch 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.
“We have also removed the annual cap for all families who are eligible for childcare.”
Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority CEO 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,” Ms Sinclair said.
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.