A Broome single mother-of-three says a lack of childcare placements in the Kimberley town has left her fearful she’ll lose her job and find herself unable to support her family. Speaking to the Broome Advertiser, Broome woman Uweinna Albert revealed her struggles in securing a day care placement for her son Keefe, having to wait in limbo on local day care centre waiting lists for up to 12 months. It comes after a landmark report from the Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute released in March dubbed the Kimberley, along with most of regional WA, a “childcare desert”. The report found there was only one day care place for every five children who need one in the Kimberley, leaving 92.6 per cent of parents in the Kimberley without sufficient access to childcare. Ms Albert is one of those parents. She is a single mother who takes care of her three children, Skylar, 13, Declan, 11 and Keefe who is just one year old — all while working full time. But Ms Albert says her job could be at risk thanks to a lack of day care spaces available in Broome. “If I don’t get day care, I’m very scared for my job because it’s full time and I need to be here from Monday to Friday,” she said. “Everyone’s a bit flexible at the moment because of COVID but eventually people are going to go ‘you really need to find day care or you need to go part time’.” It comes as Federal Labor has promised to increase the childcare subsidy to 90 per cent for all families if it wins the election later this month which Ms Albert welcomed, saying “it’s pretty good”. But cost isn’t the main problem facing Ms Albert and other parents in the Kimberley — it’s availability. And while the easy solution would be to open more centres, childcare providers themselves are also feeling the pinch, dealing with a lack of qualified childcare workers in the North West. “When I’ve been looking for a place, day-cares have been telling me they have a 12-month waiting list and some will say check in with us next year or some will go we can’t put you on the list because it is huge,” Ms Albert said. “There are private babysitters available but unless you’re a couple, and you’re both working, you can’t afford it because some of them are charging $30 an hour. “There must be a way that they can register private babysitters as a childcare carer in the system so you can get a rebate for them which would be good because then you could afford it.” In April, Member for Durack Melissa Price announced that the Federal Government would invest $19.4m to establish up to 20 new day care centres around the country through a competitive grants process later this year, but without any indication of where these centres may end up or when they may be ready for operation. This has offered little comfort to parents such as Ms Albert who need childcare desperately right now and have to find alternatives in the meantime. “You can get private babysitters but they cost nearly $500 a week just for two days — that’s almost half my wage gone,” she said. Ms Albert managed to secure a few days of care a week for her son Keefe but on days she can’t find day care, Ms Albert works from home, which can prove a challenge. “When I work home with Keefe, it doesn’t really happen, I can go and do emails on my phone but I can’t go on my laptop because he grabs at it and needs my attention,” she said. Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute report on childcare also found that WA was the worst state in the country in terms of childcare with 68 per cent of the population living in areas with a shortage of childcare places.