March 2010  

The Secrets to Staff Retention
Building a strong team and a positive work environment is essential

The Secrets to Staff RetentionA recent survey conducted by on the Government's proposed
changes to staff ratios and qualifications prompted a large number of you to write and share your opinions.

Of the more than 300 responses we received the comments below were fairly typical:

"There is a shortage of qualified staff for child care centres and the problem with staff retention is ongoing.  Government spending should include increases to staff wages/reduction in working hours to encourage child care workers to stay in their chosen career"

"In regional areas it is already difficult to find suitably qualified staff. We are at risk of losing staff who have years of experience. Qualifications are a good starting point but do not guarantee quality people. Why do we need teacher trained staff, they are not better than others."

"Having a university trained teacher is LUDICROUS a diploma on the premises is enough. Most university students use child care as a stepping stone and then leave to then go and pursue a career in the school system."

I think most of you will agree that one of the child care industry's most critical challenges is staff recruitment and retention and the Government's proposed changes will only make the issue worse.

Maintaining the staff you have and reducing the turnover in your service is a great way to build a strong team and a positive work environment, which should help you attract new staff when the ratios change.

» Read the full article…

Safety Is Not Just For Children
Ouch! How workers are injured in child care

Child Care Worker SafetyChild care workers are at high risk of workplace injury due to the very physical nature of the job. On a daily basis most child care workers lift children, bend to sit at child sized tables and chairs, deal with clutter underfoot and move heavy playground equipment.

According to WorkSafe Victoria the physical toll of undertaking these tasks daily can lead to painful and debilitating injuries. Victorian workplace injury statistics reveal that 70 per cent of these injuries are 'musculoskeletal' in nature, such as sprains and strains, affecting the back, knees, neck and arms. It is also believed that many more injuries go unreported by people who accept injuries as 'just part of the job'.

In a campaign designed to raise awareness about this issue WorkSafe Victoria is currently focusing on safety in child care centres and kindergartens. This includes exploring new ways to help these facilities become safer workplaces and reinforcing legal workplace safety requirements.

» Read the full article…

Name & Shame Child Care Sites
Do you think these websites are effective?

A new website designed to name and shame Queensland child care centres in breach of standards went live this month.

As of 1 February the website will publish information about services that demonstrate serious or repeated non-compliance with the Child Care Act 2002, including revoked or suspended licenses.

Earlier this month Queensland Premier Anna Bligh told the state parliament that the website was designed to provide parents with clear and accurate information about their children's care.

"We are doing this, very simply, because parents want to be reassured and have a right to know that those centres charged with caring for their children are up to scratch," said Ms Bligh.

"With the click of a mouse, parents can now easily find if their local child care service has seriously or repeatedly contravened child care laws, and if so, what action was taken by the government and by the centre itself."

The president of Childcare Queensland, Ms Gwynn Bridge, told the Sunshine Coast Daily that the new laws could breed a culture of paranoia among child care workers.

» Read the full article…

Services Update
Tools to help you & your child care service continues to offer Australian parents a unique range of services designed to make it easier to find and access high quality child care.

We now have more than 11,000 child care service providers listed as members and one million+ Australian parents visited the website last year.

In addition we are proud to report that we receive parent testimonials like this one from Leigh Sargent on a regular basis:

"I just want to thank you for an excellent service - as a first time mum returning to work - your service alleviated some of the stress in sourcing childcare."

To continue in our mission to help parents navigate their way through the maze that is the Australian child care system we continue to develop and launch new products and services designed to marry parents with the child care services they want.

To reach these parents make sure your child care business is taking full advantage of the wide range of services on offer at

» Read the full article…

CCMS Reporting Issues
Two frequently asked questions lead to prolonged wait times…

The Government's CCMS Helpdesk reported an increase in calls last month from child care service providers with two main questions:

1. Did I report an absence for this day? and;

2. Here's my Clearing Number, can you tell me what I've been paid for?

The increase in calls led to prolonged wait times and as a result DEEWR emailed all CCMS software suppliers to request that they email child care services with information about how to monitor and report on these two issues.

If you have experienced any issues with these two reporting requirements you should contact your CCMS software provider for immediate assistance or the CCMS Helpdesk -

The Government's 2009-2010 Child Care Handbook may also be of assistance.

How has your experience with the CCMS been so far? Are you comfortable with the system or is your service still struggling to meet all the new requirements.

If you have a success story or if you have questions tips or ideas to share with your colleagues click here

Kia Boorer
Manager - Wyndarra Child Care Centre
Hoppers Crossing VIC

Child care professionals share a commitment to improving society by creating dynamic and nurturing care environments for Australia's youngest learners.

Read this month's Child Care Person in the spotlight Kia Boorer Manager at Wyndarra Child Care Centre in Hoppers Crossing Victoria.

» Read the interview…

If you or someone you know deserves to be featured in this section drop us a line at

Each child care person we profile will receive a copy of Play School Collection (3 DVD set) for their service.

Courtesy of ABC Kids and Roadshow Entertainment.

Study Examines Effects Of
Child Care

Findings of the ANU Longitudinal Survey of 5000 Australian children…

A recent study on the effects of child care on children has shown only minor differences between children in parental care and those in centre based care.

The research showed that the effects of service based care differ according to the quality of the care and the background of the parents.

The study, conducted by ANU economists Professor Andrew Leigh and Dr Chikako Yamauchi, used data from the Longitudinal Survey of Australian Children (LSAC), which follows the progress of 5000 children born in 2004.

Dr Yamauchi said they found some evidence that children in non-parental care have worse behavioural outcomes than children at home however he said the differences were minor.

"It would be a mistake to conclude from this that day care is harmful for children. The size of the differences are quite small, and could possibly reflect differences in the kinds of families who choose to use non-parental care," he said.

This information was gained by asking the parents of the LSAC children about how the child responded in unfamiliar circumstances, how well the child persisted with tasks, and whether the child had temper tantrums.

The researchers also found that the relationship between behaviour and child care differs according to parental socioeconomic status and the quality of care.

» Read the full article…

Work Experience Program
FREE job ads for work experience roles…

With a shortage of qualified child care staff it is essential we all participate in student work experience programs for the long term benefit of the industry.

A great new initiative from aims to tackle this problem head-on by enabling child care services to advertise work experience positions and connect to people looking for work experience for free.

This gives you the opportunity to attract the best students that will complement your team.

To take advantage of the Work Experience Program register here and once your account is activated email us to say you want to post a job ad for work experience staff.

Itís that easy… supporting the child care industry and finding child care professionals a better job

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Roxanne Elliott

Hello everyone and welcome to Child Care News.

Given the great feedback we received on our recent mini poll on the Government's proposed changes to staff ratios and qualification levels and the fact that so many of you raised staffing as an issue we thought an article on staff retention would be useful this month.

This month's child care worker in the spotlight is Kia Boorer from the Wyndarra Child Care Centre in Hoppers Crossing. Kia learned on the job by working in her parent's centre and is now running the family business with her sister Tamara.

Kia's practical approach to dealing with changes such as introduction of the early learning framework have set her business up to succeed in coming years.

You can also read about the Queensland Government's new name and shame website designed to give parents information about child care centres which are underperforming. We are interested to hear how you feel about this initiative and how it will affect the industry.

We've also got an article on some interesting child care related research which has just come out of the ANU plus an article on a WorkSafe Victoria campaign which is targeting child care service workers.

All this, plus some news on an exciting new service on which enables child care services to advertise their work experience positions for free.

If you know someone who deserves to be profiled in an upcoming issue or if you know of a story worth covering please drop me an email.

Until next time, happy reading.

Roxanne Elliott®
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» More featured Jobs - post a job today
Most Popular articles
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This month's most popular articles, checklists, links & tips:

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Helping your child adjust to child care

Priority for allocating places in child care

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