My son goes to a really small centre and they actually let you not pay for holidays, as long as you give two weeks notice! I couldn't believe it when we got all the information after making the decision to change him.
Just be aware as well that if your child doesn't attend a certain amount of days you lose the CCB and (I think CCR??).
I don't know much about childcare cause my son never went but I feel sad for the women being exploited to the point where they feel they have no choice but to pay for a spot they don't need to use for a while just to secure a place.
OP have you thought about family daycare? I'm on a local Facebook page that helps connect families with educators and places seem to come up fairly regularly. Perhaps call a couple of schemes in your area and see what they suggest.
I put my DS on a long daycare waiting list 2 years ago and we still haven't been offered a place. I called a few weeks back enquiring about next year and they're full, but apparently DS is 'near' the top of the waiting list :-/
The bottleneck caused by school is understandable but surely there could be a solution if those who ran the service had a vested interest in finding a solution. But they don't care. Meanwhile, this has a negative impact on the economy because it directly affects people's ability to work. If Australia had the same level of workplace participation for women that Canada has, we would add $25 billion dollars to the economy. 25 BILLION. That's the budget deficit pretty much sorted. And a lot of that is as a result of childcare. A lot of women delay going back to work and work less when they do because of a lack of childcare and/or the cost of childcare (particularly with the cap on the subsidy running out mid year combined with a loss of other benefits).
In that sense it's probably not cheaper for the government to pawn off childcare to the private sector. The difference between here and Canada is that Canada's childcare is not largely privatised. In fact, they point to Australia as an example of why they should not privatise Childcare.
Our system has become a cautionary tale... That's sad.
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