The cost of vacation care programs varies depending on the location, the activities on offer and service provider.
Here are some aspects that influence just how much vacation care will cost you:
Some vacation care providers will require you to pay an annual enrolment or membership fee before you can enrol in their program. This is usually around $20-$25 per child and is an additional cost you’ll need to factor in if you’re attending a service for the first time.
Daily fee and Government rebates
The base daily fee for vacation care varies but is usually upwards of $60 per day. Eligible families attending eligible services will be entitled to receive a rebate from the government via the Child Care Subsidy. The rebate is means-tested and is paid directly to service providers to be passed on to families as a fee reduction. Use the Department of Human Services Payment and Service Finder to help estimate how much you may be entitled to receive.
Excursions and incursions
In addition to your daily fee, there may be some additional costs on certain days. These may include excursions to other venues or paying for visitors to come to the service to entertain or teach a new sport, craft or skill to the children.
In addition to figuring out the overall cost of vacation care, you’ll also want to make sure you’re getting value for money. Consider these inclusions as well:
Some vacation care programs provide morning tea and afternoon tea. This means less lunch packing for you! There’s usually no extra fee for this and is a great inclusion in the daily fee you’re already paying. Plus, did we mention that’s less lunch packing for you?
You want value for money but you also want quality. It’s important that vacation care programs and activities are conducted by appropriately qualified, specialist staff who all hold current working with children and first aid certificates. If the service offers a low child to staff ratio this is a great benefit for your child and definitely added value for you. You really do get what you pay for and it’s important to consider this when comparing costs.
Working out how much vacation care costs includes taking a look at daily fees, excursion and incursion charges, government rebates and enrolment fees. The last important step is taking a look at the value you get for your fees before making your final decision.