Data reveals childcare debt
By Nadia Surace
LESS than a week after Greater Shepparton City announced a proposed 59 per cent kindergarten rates rise, data was released showing the number of parents being chased for unpaid childcare fees by debt collection agencies in the region.
“We have five open cases at the moment but that number is just the tip of the iceberg,” Prushka debt collection agency spokesperson, William Thomson said of the agency’s figures.
“We only see the people whose cases are open at present and we’re not the only debt collection agency.
“The centres also tend to hang on to their overdue accounts often for 6 or 8 months after they become due. People are in debt and often not reported.”
Mr Williams said the agency has also observed the number of open cases against parents increasing forcing some childcare centres to increase their debt recovery activities.
“Across the board, the median childcare debt is about $800, although we certainly get a number of debts in the $2,000-$5,000 range.”
The Prushka data showed that the two biggest groups of debtors are single parents and low-income families.