“Early Start For Dearer Childcare”
An article in the April 8, 2010 issue of The Daily Telegraph (Australia) detailed findings of an independent report by Booz & Company that daycare centers in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, would have to hire extra staff to meet new government mandates for the ratio of caregivers to children. Starting in January 2011, licensed center-based and mobile children’s services in NSW will be required to have one caregiver for every four children under the age of 2. Currently childcare centers must have one caregiver for every five children up to 2. The NSW mandates predate the National Quality Standard (NQS) for the centers set to start in January 2012 across Australia. In its report, Booz & Company found that more than one-third of childcare centers across the not-for-profit and commercial sectors were already operating at a 1:4 ratio. Included in its research was an economic analysis to assess the financial impact the 1:4 change would have on NSW families. The report added the new NSW mandates would have a modest cost impact of between $1 and $4 per child per day.