Six charged in Melbourne with fraudulent childcare claims worth $16 million
The Australian - Rosie Lewis - December 17, 2015

Six people have been charged in Melbourne''s western suburbs for allegedly submitting fraudulent claims for taxpayer-funded family day care payments worth nearly $16 million. Australian Federal Police have also seized assets worth $1.1m that are believed to be proceeds of the alleged crime...

Government caps places under subsided nanny trial due to lower than expected demand
ABC News - Julie Doyle - December 16, 2015

The Federal Government's trial of subsidised nannies has attracted less interest than anticipated, leading to a reduction in the number of places offered. The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) confirms the Government has capped the pilot program at 3,000 places to reflect lower...

Illawarra childcare centre creating breed of baby scientists
ABC News - Justin Huntsdale - December 16, 2015

An Illawarra early childhood education centre has become the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere to provide a special science program to students. Its a training model that has swept across much of Germany and parts of Europe, and this week, Wollongong-based Big Fat Smile Kenny Street...

Treasurer Scott Morrison's first budget review test
News.com.au - Kara Vickery - December 15, 2015

Treasurer Scott Morrison has announced new savings in the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook including a crackdown on welfare payments, health cuts and tougher means testing for childcare. Smaller than predicted revenues contributed to a forecast budget deficit of $37.4 billion, with a...

Childcare subsidies: Christian Porter's balancing act
The Australian - Judith Ireland - December 15, 2015

Childcare is a classic example of provider capture. While the policy of subsidising and regulating formal childcare is ostensibly about assisting working parents and children from disadvantaged backgrounds, in practice childcare has become a bloated, inflexible boondoggle providing superior capital...

Anti-obesity message aimed at preschoolers and toddlers
The Daily Telegraph - Carleen Frost - December 12, 2015

PRESCHOOLERS, toddlers and even babies are being targeted by health experts in a bid to prevent any further blowout in the state's child obesity crisis. The highly successful Munch & Move program has been rolled out across more than 90 per cent of early childhood education and care services...

Workforce productivity summit: Mothers forced to 'dumb down' to keep jobs
Financial Review - Lucille Keen - December 9, 2015

She said it was now a matter of focussing on smaller organisations and encouraging them to be more flexible and supportive when women return to work. ASX chief executive Elmer Funke Kupper said handling parents' return to work was "absolutely fundamental". At the ASX everyone who goes on...

Preschool funded like private or public schools under COAG proposal
Sydney Morning Herald - Judith Ireland - December 9, 2015

The federal government is considering funding preschools like it funds schools, with different amounts for private and public bodies, under a model to be discussed by the Council of Australian Governments. Under the proposal, which will go to Friday's COAG meeting as part of the federation...

GST 15% rise would hit lowest earners hardest, latest modelling shows
The Guardian - Shalailah Medhora - December 9, 2015

Expanding the base of the tax to include fresh food, education and childcare services, healthcare and water and sewerage rates, while concurrently increasing the rate to 15%, would raise just under $50bn. But the impacts of that scenario would leave the lowest income earners worst off. The modelling...

Vaccine letters coming soon to parents on child benefits
Sunshine Coast Daily - December 8, 2015

PARENTS whose family payments may be affected because their child's immunisations are not up-to-date will soon receive a letter from the Department of Human Services. From January 1, all children under 20 must be fully immunised or on a catch-up schedule to remain eligible for Child Care...

Education Minister seeks new powers to freeze childcare centre approvals
News.com.au - Lauren Wilson - December 7, 2015

The approval freeze would be used in circumstances where there is suspicion that new childcare services would engage in subsidy rorts or dodgy practices like 'child swapping' - where family day care educators place their children in each other's care and claim childcare subsidies. It would also...

Parents to get random 'spot checks' on their work hours under Coalition plan
Sydney Morning Herald - Judith Ireland - December 2, 2015

Families will be subjected to random "spot checks" from the government to make sure they are reporting their work hours accurately under the Coalition's new childcare plan. Under the new childcare package, parents will need to work or study for at least eight hours a fortnight in in order to qualify...

Feminist childcare fight comes full circle as job-based policy fails children's needs
The Conversation - Eva Cox - December 2, 2015

In the 1970s, feminists pushed for children's services that recognised the need for care for children whose mothers had jobs. In 2015, the situation has reversed. Feminists and others concerned about good social policies need to push the rights of children to funded children's services, regardless...

Childcare funding changes leave disadvantaged children with fewer hours of early education
The Conversation - Susan Irvine - December 2, 2015

Under the current system, these children receive up to 24 hours of early childhood education and childcare (ECEC) a week, or about two days per week in a long day care centre, regardless of their parents' work status. The government is planning to cut this support by half. These changes will shape...

Hidden hit in government's childcare reforms for mums working casual jobs
News.com.au - Lauren Wilson - December 1, 2015

MUMS on casual contracts working a few shifts a fortnight could lose up to six hours a week of childcare under the federal government's new early learning package. A loophole in the new childcare arrangements will mean that families who qualify for the minimum amount of care under the new...