Kiwi childcare more costly than most of the world - OECD

Childcare in New Zealand is more expensive than almost every other country in the western world.

The OECD says Kiwi families are spending almost a third of their household income on childcare.

The only county ahead of us on the list is the UK, where it accounts for almost 34 percent.

Compare that with Australia, where it only chews up roughly half that - 15.7 percent of household income.

Fiona Hughes, who heads childcare agency BestStart, says costs have been going up while funding hasn't.

"There was a small increase in 2014, but it's been about five years of pretty much nothing," she says.

"A lot of services struggle with that, especially if you're a one-off provider."

Centres Newshub spoke to said costs ranged from $200 to $400 a week, but the overall opinion was that they're struggling to keep costs down and subsidies need to go up.

But the Minister of Education, Hekia Parata, says the OECD figures are way off.

"For every dollar a parent pays in New Zealand the Government pays $4.80, so the comparisons are not fair comparisons," she says.

The Ministry of Education says the report doesn't take into account the 20 hours of free childcare available to parents with kids between three and five.

It says early childhood education is 33 percent more affordable now than in 2007.


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