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A comprehensive collection of child care related news from Australia and around the world.
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Fears for childcare quality in overhaul
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - April 24, 2014
THE nation's biggest childcare provider believes a new streamlined assessment of childcare centres will water down the national system set up by Labor. Goodstart Early Learning wants urgent talks with the Abbott government because it fears that centres may not get the information they need...

Sussan Ley's early learnings unlikely to save preschool funding
The Age - Lisa Bryant - April 23, 2014
Rarely do we know what influences a politician’s decision about what policy issues will define them. Bob Hawke saw starving children at the gates of an Indian palace as a 23-year-old. Was this what made him promise some 35 years later that under his government "no child would live in poverty...

Importing nannies is not the right solution for Australia's childcare crisis
The Age - Maria Platt - April 22, 2014
The first thing I notice is the car out the front. Once I'm inside the large single-level house I spy a small flat-screen TV and enough kitchen appliances to make Martha Stewart envious. For many Australians this is the norm. But in an Indonesian rural village this type of house means...

Affinity Education Group's Laboo confident of public listing
The Australian - Bridget Carter - April 21, 2014
THE Affinity Education Group's chief executive, Justin Laboo, said the first thing he had to do before the company recently went public was fend off questions from prospective investors as to why it would be any different to ABC Learning Centres. "I can tell you, it was the first question," Mr...

Whistleblowers make 100 complaint a month against childcare
Daily Telegraph - Alicia Wood - April 19, 2014
PARENTS and staff whistleblowers are making an average 100 complaints a month against NSW childcare centres. Figures from the Department of Education and Communities showed more than half of complaints made to the department about childcare centres were concerns a child's...

Child care centre certification scheme cut by Federal Government - April 19, 2014
A TROUBLED certification scheme which had forced child care centres to sideline experienced staff and direct valuable time away from childminding has been wound back under a federal and state government deal to slash red tape. The deal means parents could be in line for some hip-pocket...

Childcare tax deductibility 'a loser for everyone'
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - April 17, 2014
AUSTRALIAN families will be significantly worse off if childcare is made fully tax-deductible ­rather than removing the cap on current government subsidies, ­according to a new analysis. The proposal to scrap subsidies and make approved care tax-deductible has been suggested by several...

Childcare game becomes aggressive
Financial Review - Trevor Hoy - April 16, 2014
Some recent large childcare centre acquisitions and the seemingly unstoppable share price run of G8 Education bring back memories of the rise and rise and eventual demise of ABC Learning. However, to date G8 appears to have taken a measured approach in expanding its child centre...

'Too much' childcare takes toll on learning
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - April 15, 2014
CHILDREN who spend more than 21 hours a week in long daycare are at greater risk of performing below average in maths, literacy and overall academic achievement, a new study finds. The Australian National University work, based on four waves of longitudinal data over six years...

Jolene Vella says up to half children at daughter's early development centre aren't vaccinated
Courier Mail - Laura Chalmers - April 15, 2014
IT WAS only after speaking to parents at her daughter's early development centre Jolene Vella realised how few of the children her daughter was playing with were vaccinated. Jazmine, 6, has autism and attended a specialist group for children with autism. Ms Vella estimated that at least...

Childcare demand drops because of high jobless rate
ABC News - Claire Todd - April 14, 1014
There is concern the high jobless rate in Tasmania's north-west is putting pressure on the viability of childcare centres. The region's population is declining rapidly as the unemployment rate hovers about 9 per cent, putting pressure on household budgets. Steph Rubock who runs a centre in...

Childcare centre ratings and assessment process streamlined
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - April 12, 2014
CHILDCARE centres will face a radically streamlined assessment and ratings process from July 1 after federal Assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley signed off with states and territories on a new regulatory regime. Agreement with the states and territories was crucial to meet the mid-2015...

Preschool hours will be cut unless Federal Government commits more funding, state Education Minister Jennifer Rankine warns
The Advertiser - Peter Jean - April 11, 2014
THE number of hours South Australian children spend in preschool each week will be cut by three hours unless the Federal Government commits to more funding, state Education Minister Jennifer Rankine warns. The number of hours that each SA four-year-old is entitled to each week had...

Morgan Stanley near deal to sell Learning Care - sources
Reuters - Greg Roumeliotis and Soyoung Kim - April 11, 2014
Morgan Stanley's (MS.N) private equity arm is in advanced talks to sell Learning Care Group Inc, the second-largest for-profit child care provider in North America, to buyout firm American Securities LLC, people familiar with the matter said. The deal, which is expected to come later...

Doctors want vaccination reforms for childcare centres
Courier Mail - Laura Chalmers - April 11, 2014
DOCTORS have demanded the introduction of 'no jab, no play' reforms in Queensland to give childcare centres the power to ban unvaccinated children. Australian Medical Association President Dr Steve Hambleton said the introduction of the measures in NSW had clearly had a positive...

Netball Australia urges female sport bosses to help with childcare
Canberra Times - Chris Dutton - April 10, 2014
Netball Australia boss Kate Palmer has implored female sporting bodies to soak up some of the costs of having children in a high performance environment until women can be full-time professional athletes. In response to Basketball Australia's new parental policy, which has forced...

Calls for change as childcare costs push parents out of work
7.30 Report (ABC News) - Sabra Lane - April 9, 2014
More than a quarter of a million Australians who'd like to be in paid work are choosing to stay at home and issues with childcare are cited by many, leading to calls to simplify the sector and make it more accountable, and allow nannies as a tax deduction...

Warning over kinder funding
The Age - Daniella Miletic - April 9, 2014
The Victorian government has called on its federal counterpart to commit to early learning funding amid warnings kindergarten hours could fall to 10 hours a week and teaching jobs could be lost if a national agreement is abandoned. Victorian Minister for Children Wendy Lovell urged Assistant...

Affinity buys childcares, boosts Victorian revenue
Financial Review - Trevor Hoy - April 9, 2014
Management said there was a compelling strategic rationale behind the acquisitions aside from simply looking for benefits of scale. These included portfolio diversification in most east coast states and Western Australia and the acquisition of a corporate group of centres where management...

CLP childcare money pre-election sweetener for Blain
NT News - Zach Hope - April 9, 2014
FAMILIES will save about $130 a year on childcare costs from next financial year as the Country Liberals make their pitch to parents in Blain struggling under cost-of-living ­pressures. The early Budget announcement of a 10 per cent increase to the childcare subsidy will mean parents of...

Affinity Education latest childcare operator to join buying spree
The Age - Jessica Gardner - April 9, 2014
Childcare operator Affinity Education has increased the price it is willing to pay for growth, announcing it will buy 51 centres in an $80-million deal that is equivalent to about two-thirds of its market value. The deal is a sign that two major corporate operators, Affinity and G8 Education...

After school care 'crisis': Alliance targets NSW Government over shortage of places in Sydney
ABC News - Rebecca Barrett - April 9, 2014
An alliance of after school care providers and parents, brought together by Sydney's Leichhardt Council, is ramping up pressure on the New South Wales Government to intervene in what they say is a growing childcare crisis. Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne says children are increasingly being...

Children suffer DNA damage from stress
Sydney Morning Herald - Nicky Phillips - April 9, 2014
Children who grow up in poverty or an unstable family show early signs of genetic ageing that may make them more vulnerable to certain diseases, a study has found. Telomeres, the protective caps that prevent the ends of chromosomes from unravelling over time, were shorter in children who...

Cough: Don't worry, parents, the kids are all right
Sydney Morning Herald - Elissa Blake - April 9, 2014
A new play from a former day-care centre worker playfully examines the rules and regulations governing our youngest citizens and takes a gentle poke at Sydney's stressed-out parents. "Kids can't climb trees or play in the dirt any more," playwright Emily Calder says. "It seems like the...

Affinity gobbles up more childcare centres - April 8, 2014
CHILDCARE operator Affinity Education Group is taking over 51 childcare centres across Australia for $80 million. The acquisitions - through $65 million in cash and $15 million in Affinity shares - are on top of the seven centres it took over in March. The company says it expects the expansion...

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