Child Care Industry News February 24, 2015 -®
Child Care Industry News
February 24, 2015
Welcome, this week we cover the Productivity Commission's final recommendations for improving the delivery of early childhood education and care services in Australia and the frozen berry recall.
PC final report
recommends simplification and nannies
The long awaited Productivity Commission's final report on Child Care and Early Childhood Learning has been released and recommends a range of sweeping changes including simplification of the child care payment system and subsidies for in-home care providers such as nannies.

Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison, released the report and said it would be a key input to the Government's new families package, due to be released later this year.

"The Inquiry was the largest review of child care since the 1990s and the Commission has done an excellent job drawing together a wide range of input from families, service providers, early childhood education professionals, businesses and other experts to identify the challenges and potential ways forward," he said.

The Early Care and Learning Subsidy (ECLS)

The report recommends the axing of the current system in favour of a single payment, the Early Care and Learning Subsidy (ECLS), which would be means and activity tested and paid directly to a family's provider of choice.
new + improved
Frozen berry recall
In wake of a spate of Hepatitis A cases (13 across Australia) the Victorian Department of Education and Training has issued a health warning and information sheet to all early childhood education and care services.

The recommendations are that the following products should be discarded or returned to the point of sale for a refund regardless of best before dates:
  • Nanna's Frozen Mixed Berries 1kg packet
  • Nanna's Frozen Raspberries 1kg packets
  • Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries 300 gram packets
  • Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries 500 gram packets
While the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has confirmed that the risk of exposure is very low it cannot be excluded and any students or staff who have consumed the affected products should be advised to keep an eye out for symptoms 15 to 50 days after consumption.
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