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G8 Education lines up Affinity
The Australian - Bridget Carter and Gretchen Friemann - July 3, 2015
Childcare group G8 Education is expected to launch a formal takeover bid of its smaller rival, Affinity Education, after taking a 16 per cent stake in the company last night. As reported on The Australian's BusinessNow blog, fund manager sources said a buyout offer was "imminent"...
David Leyonhjelm thinks childcare subsidies are a mistake
Financial Review - David Leyonhjelm - July 2, 2015
Over the past decade or so, subsidies for childcare have grown continuously and rapidly to the point where they now pose a real threat to long-term budget sustainability. The main reason for this is the increased credentialism and regulation that pervades the sector. Whereas childcare...
Affinity Education investors spit the dummy
The Australian - Tim Boreham - July 2, 2015
Childcare provider Affinity Education's earnings update and "positive" operational outlook today looks like it was meant to be as soothing as Daktarin cream on a chafed rear, but investors have spat the dummy anyway. Affinity shares (AFJ, 53c) were birched by 29c, or 35 per cent, after...
New child protection laws designed to hold more people to account
Herald Sun - Eddie Morton - July 1, 2015
Organisations responsible for supervising children will now be required to actively manage the risks of sexual offences being committed against children in their care and "further protect them from harm". Failure to do so could result in the organisation or person in authority going to jail for up...
The industries set to fly and fall in 2015-16
Smart Company - June 30, 2015
Growth in female workforce participation and strong government support for childcare providers are projected to support industry revenue growth of 12.2% in 2015-16, continuing a robust growth trend. Demand for childcare services continues to expand, as more and more families become...
NSW Government accused of underspending on early childhood education in budget
ABC News - Brigid Glanville - 25 June 2015
Initial reaction to the Government's $2.1 billion surplus has been positive but some cracks are starting to appear. In the budget forecast for the current financial year 2014/15 spending on childhood education was set down at $361 million. However, only $263 million was spent...
Preschool is most expensive in NSW
Sydney Morning Herald - Sam Buckingham-Jones - June 24, 2015
Parents in NSW are paying almost $20 more each day for preschool than other states and territories as the state government continues to underspend its allocated early childhood education budget. At the same time, figures show that almost 30 per cent of the state's children are not...
Donations by childcare union United Voice subject of inquiry
Daily Telegraph - Simon Benson & Daniel Meers - June 23, 2015
THE peak childcare union poured more than $1 million into Labor campaign coffers in return for a $300 million taxpayer-funded scheme to give pay rises to union-aligned childcare centres. The Daily Telegraph can reveal the United Voice union almost tripled its donations to the ALP in the same...
Abbott Government may drop $840m preschool program
Herald Sun - Ellen Whinnett - June 22, 2015
THE Abbott Government is considering abandoning its $840 million program that guarantees four-year-olds get 15 hours of preschool a week. The move would cut about $97 million of annual preschool funding to Victoria, and could see teachers sacked, students' guaranteed hours reduced...
Opinion: Family Tax Benefit cut ignores huge home workload that some carry
The Courier-Mail - Amanda Sheehan - Jun 22, 2015
In contrast, the Abbott Government's proposal to cut Family Tax Benefit (B) when the youngest child turns six instead of 16 is like a slap in the face. It sends the message that women are more valuable in the workplace than at home raising children. But who has the right to make that call?...
Preschool teaching children about environmental sustainability
Sydney Morning Herald - Andrew Brown - June 21, 2015
The NSW Early Childhood Environmental Education Network wants to see the program expanded to all early-learning centres across the state. The group's convener, Julie Gaul, said learning about the environment was as important in the early-learning curriculum as literacy and numeracy...
No Jab No Play has caused a rush to immunise as anti-vaccine lobby turns desperate in the face of defeat
Sunday Telegraph - Jane Hansen - June 21, 2015
The policy change has sparked a rush of parents contacting pro-immunisation groups including the Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters group. "Anecdotally we’ve had quite a few contact us, people are starting to question their previous anti-vaccination stance and seek out more..."
Every second family with kids will lose
The Australian - Natasha Bita - June 18, 2015
The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling at the University of Canberra has found that cuts to family tax benefits, combined with higher childcare subsidies, will leave 44 per cent of families out of pocket. Poorer families would be hardest hit by the proposed changes, which are...
Child care costs may rise under Scott Morrison's proposed changes to payments, say operators
Daily Telegraph - Alex Lewis - June 16, 2015
CHILDCARE centres may "jack up their prices" if proposed changes to the industry are adopted, a north shore operator has warned. West Pymble Kindy Kids general manager Fiona Goode raised her concerns during a visit by Social Services Minister Scott Morrison to her centre last...
Popular preschool apps failing to educate kids, study finds
Herald Sun - Monique Hore - June 16, 2015
POPULAR tablet applications that claim to educate children are failing to teach them anything, research has found. The study found that only 18 of 200 of the most popular preschool applications in the Apple App Store claimed to be developed using "educational expertise". Less than 6 per...
Abbott plans $18m childcare advertising campaign despite Senate roadblock
The Age - Adam Gartrell - June 14, 2015
The Abbott government plans to spend the equivalent of $22,000 a day to advertise its new childcare assistance package between now and its 2017 launch. While the government is yet to secure enough Senate support to pass its $3.5 billion "Jobs for Families" package, it has put aside...
Kids' culture clubs: Childcare focus on personal development
Daily Telegraph - Claire Bickers - June 14, 2015
Experts have noted big childcare changes in the past five years, following the introduction of national regulations, the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standards. Dawson Ruhl, chief executive of early childhood education support agency Child Australia, said...
Wealthy families ditch the nanny for the governess
Sydney Morning Herald - Eryk Bagshaw - June 13, 2015
"We have a lot of high-profile clients in Australia who still prefer nannies," she said. That preference is likely to be exacerbated when the full impact of the Abbott government's nanny bonus comes in 2016. The $246 million program is expected to pay for 4000 nannies to look after 10,000 children...
The tyranny of the white picket fence: Abbott government can't be serious about encouraging women in the workforce
Sydney Morning Herald - Anne Summers - June 12, 2015
The government seemed to be on track to deliver the kind of sound policy that women had been yearning for: policy that would enable them to have kids, spend some time bonding with their babies after birth while retaining that vital attachment to the workforce and then having childcare...
Hey Mr Treasurer, what constitutes a good job?
Sydney Morning Herald - Luke Hilakari - June 12, 2015
This week, teachers, nurses, childcare workers and others stepped forward in defence of their professions to criticise Hockey's comments. Many pointed out that their work - though not high-paying - is necessary and valuable. They noted that they cannot simply abandon their careers...
Why women really work
News.com.au - Jacinta Tynan - June 11, 2015
That is why childcare rebates and (and childcare places) are so essential. It's not only about assisting parents to put food on tables (as vital as that is) but about retaining skilful women in the workforce who might otherwise see no option but to bail. The last budget sent working mothers...
Workers underpaid by $360,000: Sydney childcare staff could not pay rent
Sydney Morning Herald - Anna Patty - June 11, 2015
A western Sydney childcare operator has been fined for underpaying his staff more than $360,000 which left some of them struggling to pay their rent and utility bills. The Fair Work Ombudsman has released details of Sydney businessman Mark Edward Myles who was fined $28,900 in the...
Govt committed to family tax benefit cut
News.com.au - June 10, 2015
THE federal government will keep an unpopular plan to cut family payments to fund childcare measures, but is open to possible changes. More than half a million households stand to lose the Family Tax Benefit Part B when their youngest child turns six under plans stalled in parliament...
Joe Hockey 'out of touch' with most Australians, say workers
Sydney Morning Herald - Anna Patty - June 10, 2015
Joe Hockey's challenge to house-hunters to find higher paying jobs has insulted nurses, teacher and childcare workers who say he is "out of touch" with hard-working Australians. Amy Bell, who works as an early childhood educator in Randwick, said Mr Hockey was "out of touch" with most...
Blow to Abbott's paid parental leave cuts, as PUP senator calls changes 'not acceptable'
Sydney Morning Herald - Judith Ireland - June 8, 2015
The Abbott government's plan to change parental leave entitlements to about 80,000 new mothers faces a rocky ride through the Parliament. With Labor and the Greens strongly opposed to the $1 billion paid parental leave cut, the government needs six of the eight Senate crossbenchers to...
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