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A comprehensive collection of child care related news from Australia and around the world.
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Latest News

Mystery Affinity Education buyers add intrigue to G8 Education takeover bid
Sydney Morning Herald - Carrie LaFrenz - July 31, 2015
Two investors with past connections to G8 Education chair Jenny Hutson have been buying shares in the childcare operator's takeover target Affinity Education. Brisbane-based Taxonomy and Tasmanian-based West Bridge Holdings have together bought about $10 million worth of Affinity...

Childcare subsidies not essential for getting women back to work
Financial Review - Jennifer Hewett - July 29, 2015
Joe Hockey often cites Canada's high level of female participation in the workforce as the model for Australia to emulate. If only, he says, Australia could equal that it would add $25 billion to the country's annual gross domestic product. The Treasurer uses this figure as the economic...

Nanny subsidy trial: cost to providers means program 'set up to fail'
Sydney Morning Herald - Judith Ireland - July 27, 2015
But the Australian Nanny Association says that the cost to providers who participate in the trial will "outweigh the funding allocated to services wanting to tender". Under the draft guidelines, nanny services will receive two types of payments: a family subsidy direct from the government, and...

Welcome News for Australian Families: Visa Change will Offer Working Families Flexible Childcare
Newsmaker - July 27, 2015
As of 21 July 2015, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has updated the current 6 month work restriction on a Working Holiday Maker visa (subclasses 417 and 462) to allow Au Pairs to remain with the same family for the entirety of their 12 month visa. This ruling recognises...

Time to look at super, negative gearing, GST, bracket creep: KPMG
Sydney Morning Herald - Nassim Khadem - July 27, 2015
To get more women back to work, it suggests employer funded top-up child care costs should be treated as exempt benefits. It also recommends moving move away from a family or joint income test for childcare benefits, which has led to high marginal tax rates for primary carers seeking...

Labor looks to longer preschool hours
SBS News - July 25, 2015
Preschoolers might find themselves spending longer at school under a federal Labor government. But the party's national conference has watered down a motion from NSW member Rose Jackson, who wanted the access to preschool doubled from 15 hours a week to 30 hours. Instead, the...

$246m nanny trial: no experience needed
The Australian - Natasha Bita - July 24, 2015
Unqualified nannies with no experience will be able to pocket up to $2000 a week in taxpayer subsidies to care for seven children at a time, under the federal government's $246 million nanny trial. Department of Social Services draft guidelines reveal that families will be able to hire...

Families hit as soaring childcare costs outstrip inflation
The Australian - Nnatasha Bita - July 23, 2015
Childcare and education costs have soared up to six times faster than inflation in the past year, hitting families hard. Many childcare centres jacked up their fees this month to cover the cost of extra staff required from January 1 next year. Parents are now paying 8.5 per cent more for...

Leaders should not retreat from early childhood education reform
ABC News - Samantha Page - July 22, 2015
South Australia's proposal to take over responsibility for early childhood has created a timely debate ahead of today's Council of Australian Governments (COAG) leaders retreat. Premier Jay Weatherill's proposal would create a continuum of schooling - from early childhood to year 12...

Investor education on Affinity's mystery buyer
Financial Review - Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald and Jake Mitchell - July 21, 2015
A mystery buyer in the market for Affinity Education shares is understood to be using a Brisbane-based accountant as a front. Street Talk revealed a high-net-worth individual had quietly built a stake in Affinity - believed to be less than 4.5 per cent - after the company received a takeover...

Qld told to stop shifting childcare costs - July 18, 2015
The Queensland government needs to chip in more funding for childcare and stop shifting the responsibility onto its federal counterparts, social services minister Scott Morrison says. The minister has told a conference of more than 1000 early childhood educators a federation review...

Everyday conversations loaded with learning opportunities for preschoolers
Canberra Times - Amanda Dunn - July 18, 2015
But according to a large longitudinal study of 2500 preschool children in Victoria and Queensland, there's not enough intentional teaching happening in early learning centres, and the gap between children at the top and bottom of the academic scale by the time they reach prep is growing...

Vaccination law would let Queensland childcare centres refuse children
Brisbane Times - Amy Remeikis - July 15, 2015
Queensland childcare centres will have the power to exclude children who are not fully immunised under legislation to be introduced by the government. Having flagged the plan while in Opposition, following the New South Wales 'no jab no play' laws, Health Minister Cameron Dick said Labor...

Comment: The government still doesn't get childcare - Trish Jha - July 15, 2015
In particular a new Regulation Impact Statement (RIS), prepared by lobby group Early Childhood Australia in concert with the Department of Social Services, highlights how the government's proposed package has failed to take into account the analysis and recommendations in the recent...

Private schools expand into early childhood learning
The Age - Henrietta Cook - July 12, 2015
Private schools are descending on childcare centres to recruit their next crop of students, some of whom are still crawling. As the competition for students becomes fierce, schools are advertising on childcare noticeboards and even handing out showbags. The Learning Sanctuary childcare centres...

Laying the foundations for social impact investing
Financial Review - James Eyers - July 12, 2015
Another prominent social impact investing deal was Goodstart, which raised $95 million to acquired 678 childcare centres from ABC Learning in 2009. Three years later, financial commitments had been met and investors had been paid back their capital plus a 12 per cent return. The NSW...

Working families to lose childcare priority under Abbott plan
The Australian - Natasha Bita - July 11, 2015
Working families will lose priority for daycare places under radical childcare reforms proposed by the Abbott government. Parents will also face random spot checks to prove they need childcare to work, study or volunteer, as the government tries to control ballooning costs. The regulation...

Chris Scott: a former truckie en route to childcare baron
Financial Review - Carrie LaFrenz and John Stensholt - July 10, 2015
A knockabout former truckie and avid golfer who once made and then lost a $200 million fortune is well on his way to becoming Australia's new childcare baron. Chris Scott, 68, is behind the meteoric rise of the listed G8 Education, which now controls 450 childcare centres that look after more than...

Jay Weatherill proposes state takeover of schools, childcare
Financial Review - Laura Tingle - July 8, 2015
The states should take responsibility for early childhood and school education, and hand higher education and vocational training to the federal government, according to South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill. Ahead of the federal and state leaders' retreat in Sydney later this month, Mr...

Affinity Education and Pulse Health chairman Stuart James on M&A train
Financial Review - Tim Binsted - July 7, 2015
Mr James and the Affinity management team, led by chief executive Justin Laboo, are hitting the phones and setting up meetings with large institutional investors to explain why the childcare centre operator is worth more than rival G8 Education is offering. Affinity dismissed last week G8's offer...

Trade in Services Agreement could see international childcare providers enter the Australian market - Charis Chang - July 7, 2015
A HIGHLY secretive deal being negotiated in Geneva could see giant international childcare providers enter the Australian market with more limited future government control on how they operate. More than 50 mostly wealthy countries calling themselves the "Really Good Friends of...

Analysts less opposed to G8-Affinity deal
The Australian - Michael Roddan - July 7, 2015
While Affinity Education has slammed G8 Education's acquisition approach as hostile and opportunistic, equity analysts are less opposed to the idea, saying that a takeover would compliment G8's portfolio, and lead to synergies across a post-merger group. On Friday, G8...

G8 Education says lower Affinity Education bid reflects poor earnings update
Financial Review - Jessica Gardner - July 6, 2015
Childcare operator G8 Education has hit back at a revelation by its takeover target Affinity Education that its recent $162 million bid for the smaller rival was a fraction of a confidential approach it had made in April. G8 confirmed a report in The Australian Financial Review...

Affinity slams G8 bid, complains to ASIC
The Australian - Mitchell Bingemann - July 6, 2015
Affinity Education is hitting back at the hostile takeover attempts from rival childcare provider G8 Education, appointing legal advisers and lodging a formal complaint with the corporate regulator ASIC. On Friday G8 launched a hostile takeover bid for its smaller rival Affinity Education...

G8 Education offer for Affinity Education is not its first, or best
Sydney Morning Herald - Stephen Cauchi - July 6, 2015
The latest bid, which Affinity chairman Stuart James has rejected as "opportunistic and highly conditional", is based on a share price of 69˘. It is understood Affinity said it would consider the proposal and both parties agreed to meet again on June 24. Sources said that at the next...

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