The latest news, views & reviews for Australia's child care industry March 26, 2013
child care industry news
This week we read the small print on the Government's plan to boost wages. We also cover off on the latest on the flexibility trials… and be sure to upgrade your listing to enter our Kinderloop giveaway. As always drop us a line if you have any comments or feedback.
The small print
…on the Government's plan to boost wages

Wage riseLast week’s announcement of a $300 million cash injection over two years to boost wages in the child care sector was widely received as a step in the right direction for underpaid early childhood education and care professionals.

The money will be made available under a new Early Years Quality Fund and will provide grants to child care services to offset the cost of employing more qualified staff without raising the cost of care.

As always with announcements like this there is a fair amount of small print you need to wade through to figure out who will get the money and when, so here goes:

  • The money will be available for two years from 1 July 2013.
  • Not all services will be eligible to receive funding (see below).
  • Funding will be paid directly to eligible services and will supplement wages to the tune of $3.00 to $5.23 an hour ($114 to $198.74 a week) depending on qualifications.
  • Only long day care centres approved for CCB can apply for funding.
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Flexibility trial
Would you consider extending operating hours?

Flexible hoursOver the next 12 months a number of Australian child care providers will work with the Federal Government to pilot a range of different child care models designed to accommodate changing styles of work.

The Minister for Child Care Kate Ellis said the trials would take place in more than 50 sites across the country and would involve different types of service providers and more than 500 families.

The Government says results from the flexibility trials will enable it to gauge the scalability and long-term sustainability of the models being tested.

The following trials will start later this year:

Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) in partnership with the Police Federation of Australia
Family Day Care Australia and the Police Federation of Australia are working together to trial a child care model which can accommodate the shift work commitments of police.

This trial will last 12 months from July 2013 and will involve overnight and weekend care at six sites in NSW and Victoria. It will also provide care options for people who experience last minute shift changes.

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Funding boost for NSW preschools

Preschool fundingIn response to the Brennan Review of Funding for Early Childhood Education the NSW Government has announced a one off payment of $20 million to lower preschool fees for children in the year before school in 2013.

The NSW Government has also provided a $5 million capital fund to improve supply and access to services in regional and remote areas.

The Brennan Report has revealed some startling information about the state of preschool funding in NSW including:

  • NSW has the highest preschool fees in Australia
  • There is a lack of suitable places and up to 92 000 children may be missing out on the opportunity to attend preschool
  • Around 30 per cent of NSW Government preschool funding does not focus on the target group of four-five year olds
  • Current funding programs are poorly targeted and not directed towards stated early childhood education priorities.
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Did you know you can publicise your service's National Quality Standard rating before ACECQA starts publishing all available ratings in April/May this year… let us know.

This is a great opportunity to promote your service's achievements and Quality Improvement Plan.

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