Government data shows childcare fee increases continue to outpace the cost of living.

A new Productivity Commission report has found the proportion of people not working because child care is too expensive is climbing.

The median weekly cost of full-time care was $480 in 2018, or $400 for family day care – an increase of 2.8 per cent from the previous year and well above the 1.8 per cent overall inflation level.

Government spent about $9.2 billion on early childhood education and care, mostly in the form of federal government subsidies for fees.

The Productivity Commission report shows that the subsidies have a greater impact for lower income families, but they are still left spending the highest proportion of their disposable income on childcare fees.

The new data relates to the financial year before a new childcare subsidy regime began last July.

One in six parents of young children say they want more child care hours each week.

More than a third of parents who were not working so they can look after children said it was because they had no other option.

The cost of childcare by jurisdiction in 2018 was;

  • Queensland - $417 a week
  • Tasmania - $429
  • NT - $450
  • South Australia - $458
  • Western Australia - $475
  • NSW - $490
  • Victoria - $490
  • ACT - $560