Australia lagging developed world on early-childhood education
Sydney Morning Herald - Deborah Brennan and Sam Crosby - July 5, 2015

Yet Australia, somehow, missed the memo. Here, childcare policy is still seen as something of a regrettable necessity, required mainly to get women back into the workforce. Reflecting a philosophy that is decades out of date, the Abbott government's package is focused on boosting...

Takeover targets: childcare back in fashion
The Australian - Rebecca Urban - July 4, 2015

Big business is quietly snapping up childcare centres across the country, as rising operating costs and increasing regulation continue to place pressure on independent operators. Yesterday's announcement of a $160 million-plus takeover bid by Australia's largest private-sector childcare...

G8 Education lines up Affinity
The Australian - Bridget Carter and Gretchen Friemann - July 3, 2015

Childcare group G8 Education is expected to launch a formal takeover bid of its smaller rival, Affinity Education, after taking a 16 per cent stake in the company last night. As reported on The Australian's BusinessNow blog, fund manager sources said a buyout offer was "imminent"...

David Leyonhjelm thinks childcare subsidies are a mistake
Financial Review - David Leyonhjelm - July 2, 2015

Over the past decade or so, subsidies for childcare have grown continuously and rapidly to the point where they now pose a real threat to long-term budget sustainability. The main reason for this is the increased credentialism and regulation that pervades the sector. Whereas childcare...

Affinity Education investors spit the dummy
The Australian - Tim Boreham - July 2, 2015

Childcare provider Affinity Education's earnings update and "positive" operational outlook today looks like it was meant to be as soothing as Daktarin cream on a chafed rear, but investors have spat the dummy anyway. Affinity shares (AFJ, 53c) were birched by 29c, or 35 per cent, after...

New child protection laws designed to hold more people to account
Herald Sun - Eddie Morton - July 1, 2015

Organisations responsible for supervising children will now be required to actively manage the risks of sexual offences being committed against children in their care and "further protect them from harm". Failure to do so could result in the organisation or person in authority going to jail for up...

The industries set to fly and fall in 2015-16
Smart Company - June 30, 2015

Growth in female workforce participation and strong government support for childcare providers are projected to support industry revenue growth of 12.2% in 2015-16, continuing a robust growth trend. Demand for childcare services continues to expand, as more and more families become...

NSW Government accused of underspending on early childhood education in budget
ABC News - Brigid Glanville - 25 June 2015

Initial reaction to the Government's $2.1 billion surplus has been positive but some cracks are starting to appear. In the budget forecast for the current financial year 2014/15 spending on childhood education was set down at $361 million. However, only $263 million was spent...

Preschool is most expensive in NSW
Sydney Morning Herald - Sam Buckingham-Jones - June 24, 2015

Parents in NSW are paying almost $20 more each day for preschool than other states and territories as the state government continues to underspend its allocated early childhood education budget. At the same time, figures show that almost 30 per cent of the state's children are not...

Donations by childcare union United Voice subject of inquiry
Daily Telegraph - Simon Benson & Daniel Meers - June 23, 2015

THE peak childcare union poured more than $1 million into Labor campaign coffers in return for a $300 million taxpayer-funded scheme to give pay rises to union-aligned childcare centres. The Daily Telegraph can reveal the United Voice union almost tripled its donations to the ALP in the same...

Abbott Government may drop $840m preschool program
Herald Sun - Ellen Whinnett - June 22, 2015

THE Abbott Government is considering abandoning its $840 million program that guarantees four-year-olds get 15 hours of preschool a week. The move would cut about $97 million of annual preschool funding to Victoria, and could see teachers sacked, ­students' guaranteed hours ­reduced...

Opinion: Family Tax Benefit cut ignores huge home workload that some carry
The Courier-Mail - Amanda Sheehan - Jun 22, 2015

In contrast, the Abbott Government's proposal to cut Family Tax Benefit (B) when the youngest child turns six instead of 16 is like a slap in the face. It sends the message that women are more valuable in the workplace than at home raising children. But who has the right to make that call?...

Preschool teaching children about environmental sustainability
Sydney Morning Herald - Andrew Brown - June 21, 2015

The NSW Early Childhood Environmental Education Network wants to see the program expanded to all early-learning centres across the state. The group's convener, Julie Gaul, said learning about the environment was as important in the early-learning curriculum as literacy and numeracy...

No Jab No Play has caused a rush to immunise as anti-vaccine lobby turns desperate in the face of defeat
Sunday Telegraph - Jane Hansen - June 21, 2015

The policy change has sparked a rush of parents contacting pro-immunisation groups including the Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters group. "Anecdotally we’ve had quite a few contact us, people are starting to question their previous anti-vaccination stance and seek out more..."

Every second family with kids will lose
The Australian - Natasha Bita - June 18, 2015

The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling at the University of Canberra has found that cuts to family tax benefits, combined with higher childcare subsidies, will leave 44 per cent of families out of pocket. Poorer families would be hardest hit by the proposed changes, which are...