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Abbott's paid parental leave will do little to bring women to the workforce
The Guardian - Greg Jericho - March 10, 2014
A review of research and data suggests Tony Abbott's proposed paid parental leave (PPL) scheme will probably fail to achieve any significant lift in women's participation in the workforce. More worrying is that spending on childcare, which is much more likely to achieve this aim, is to be...
Why the posh London set all want an Aussie nanny
The Australian - Damian Whitworth - March 10, 2014
THE immigration debate has taken one of its stranger turns with calls for David Cameron to explain why he employed an Australian nanny rather than a British one. Talk to weary veterans of the childcare market, however, and they would wonder why he hadn't done it sooner. An informal...
Limited childcare a major productivity issue for Australia
The Age - Georgia Wilkins and Colin Kruger - March 9, 2014
According to think tank The Australia Institute, the number of households reporting difficulties with the cost of childcare for a child under five stands at more than three out of 10. Then there is the problem of what it dubs the "uneven availability of childcare places", that sees acute shortages...
Edward Melhuish suggests Australia should make preschool free
Sydney Morning Herald - Rachel Browne - March 9, 2014
Australia needs to introduce free preschool places for all children if it is to compete economically with other developed countries, according to a leading international expert in early childhood education. Research by Edward Melhuish from Oxford University has also found that a quality...
ABC collapse serves as learning experience for childcare newbies
The Age - Colin Kruger - March 8, 2014
"This is a business subsidised by government - how can it be unprofitable?" wailed ABC Learning's former chairwoman, Sallyanne Atkinson soon after the collapse. Ms Atkinson would be pleased to know that a new raft of for-profit childcare operators are trying to prove that there is money to...
My School should be scrapped, says Piccoli
Sydney Morning Herald - Alexandra Smith - March 7, 2014
NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli wants the controversial My School website scrapped, arguing it is a waste of money that could be better spent on improving teacher quality. Mr Piccoli said the publishing of NAPLAN results on My School was directly responsible for putting students under...
Childcare operators being enticed away from outer growth area
The Age - Georgia Wilkins and Colin Kruger - March 7, 2014
The head of Australia's biggest childcare operator, not-for-profit group Goodstart Early Learning, says the lure of higher returns is driving private operators to set up shop in wealthy, inner-city suburbs, rather than burgeoning outer growth areas. Goodstart chief executive Julia Davison said...
Hockey warns on childcare
Financial Review - Phillip Coorey - March 7, 2014
The federal government has warned of a looming blowout in the cost of childcare subsidies but will spare the rebate from the budget axe, at least until the next federal election. Treasurer Joe Hockey revealed on Thursday that the cost of childcare subsidies, forecast to cost the budget $22 billion...
Sterling talks down competition for centres
Financial Review - Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald and Gretchen Friemann - March 7, 2014
If management from initial public offering-hopeful Sterling Early Education is reading this: it's Friday and you're in Sydney. After a fortnight on the road with stops in Sydney, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Melbourne, Sterling's travelling troupe and advisers Macquarie Capital are back in front of...
Funding in doubt for childcare training
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - March 6, 2014
THE future of at least one taxpayer-funded program to give childcare workers formal qualifications is in doubt, with no guarantee funding will be extended when it runs out at the end of the year. This is despite the fact that hundreds of childcare centres have failed to hire qualified teachers. More...
Not sure she's a feminist: Minister for Women
Financial Review - Joanna Mather - March 6, 2014
For women with children, the government's review of child care would ensure women with children have the same opportunities and advantages as women without children, she said. "I think flexibility is the key to participation by women in the workforce and flexibility ultimately benefits...
Six months with mum 'not enough for babies'
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - March 5, 2014
CHILDCARE for kids under one is of no benefit to the child and may even lead to behavioural issues, according to a British expert who has urged the Abbott government to overhaul its paid parental leave scheme. Edward Melhuish of the University of Oxford, who has been brought to...
Left should 'cheer' baby leave plan: Abbott
Financial Review - Joanna Mather and Nassim Khadem - March 4, 2014
A defiant Prime Minister Tony Abbott has stepped up advocacy for his paid parental leave scheme, using a speech ahead of International Women's Day to ask the left to support the policy, which is unpopular with business "Just imagine if a progressive had come up with this idea," he said at a...
Preschool checks prevent blindness
Sky News - March 4, 2014
Preschool eye checks are saving thousands of NSW children from going partially blind and should be extended nationally, researchers say. Around 65,000 four-year-olds a year are checked and around 1000 are found to have significant vision loss in at least one eye, their report in the...
Investors cautious on Sterling's strategy
The Australian - Amanda Saunders - March 4, 2014
Fund managers combing the prospectus for the $200 million IPO of childcare centre company Sterling Early Education have expressed caution about the size of the multiples paid for the centres, with one describing the strategy as risky. Sterling, which is aiming to raise $200 million with a...
$300m childcare wage fund diverted to staff training
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - March 4, 2014
A $300 million fund originally for increasing childcare workers' wages will be given to centre providers to spend at their discretion and at their leisure on the professional development of staff. The money, which was to have been spent by the middle of next year, will have the deadline...
Swap parental leave for childcare tax breaks: directors
Financial Review - Nassim Khadem - March 4, 2014
Prime Minister Tony Abbott should divert funds from his $5.5 billion paid parental-leave scheme and make childcare tax deductible instead, leading company directors said. Directors have also criticised the government over plans to relax reporting requirements for gender equality in the...
Rules bent to save childcare centres
The Australian - Natasha Bita - March 3, 2014
HUNDREDS of childcare centres have failed to hire qualified teachers, forcing regulators to bend their rules to prevent centres closing this year. Nearly 700 centres - one in every 20 - have been exempted from national quality regulations, as primary schools poach qualified kindergarten...
Why investing in childcare makes good budget sense
NEWS.com.au - Jessica Irvine - March 1, 2014
According to Gurria, children who live in countries with above average attendance at early childhood care centres go on to score higher in educational tests. "Early child hood care and education has very good results on the children themselves," he said. "But the most important...
Nannies on march into Kiwi homes
New Zealand Herald - Morgan Tait - March 1, 2014
In-home childcare enjoying steady growth as subsidies cut cost and research points to benefits for tots. Once a luxury for the rich and famous, having a nanny is becoming an affordable childcare option for New Zealand families. Convenience, government subsidies, increased variety and...
Sterling moves ahead with IPO
NEWS.com.au - Amanda Saunders - February 28, 2014
Childcare centre roll-up Sterling Early Education will price in early March at $2 to $2.30 a share, after its bankers moved to accelerate the group's listing. As earnings season draws to a close, advisers Macquarie Bank have jetted to Asia for a roadshow to drum up interest, ahead of a...
Fundies study childcare roll-up Sterling
Financial Review - Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald and Gretchen Friemann - February 28, 2014
Fund managers have started trawling through Sterling Early Education's initial public offering documents and expect a brief list of questions for management when they do the rounds in Sydney and Melbourne next week. Top of the list is roll-up risk. Sterling is a childcare centre operator...
Arena REIT ups guidance as childcare facilities shine
Financial Review - Nick Lenaghan - February 28, 2014
Recently floated property trust Arena REIT has upgraded its distribution guidance for 2014 as it eyes emerging opportunities in the childcare sector. Lower finance costs, rental growth, and revaluations combined to lift the property trust's 2014 interim statutory net profit by 87 per cent...
Childcare push to divert wage funds
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas and Justine Ferrari - February 27, 2014
MORE than one in four childcare providers awarded wage increases for their workers by the previous government have asked the Abbott government for the funds to be used for professional development instead. But none of them is yet to get the money. Assistant Education Minister...
Demand high for childcare centres on secure leases
Financial Review - Larry Schlesinger - February 27, 2014
Private investors continue to pour funds into childcare centres on secure leases, with more than $12 million worth of the asset class changing hands this week at portfolio auctions conducted by Burgess Rawson. Yields ranged from 6.6 per cent for a centre in Tarneit in Melbourne's outer...
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