Families hit as soaring childcare costs outstrip inflation
The Australian - Nnatasha Bita - July 23, 2015

Childcare and education costs have soared up to six times faster than inflation in the past year, hitting families hard. Many childcare centres jacked up their fees this month to cover the cost of extra staff required from January 1 next year. Parents are now paying 8.5 per cent more for...

Leaders should not retreat from early childhood education reform
ABC News - Samantha Page - July 22, 2015

South Australia's proposal to take over responsibility for early childhood has created a timely debate ahead of today's Council of Australian Governments (COAG) leaders retreat. Premier Jay Weatherill's proposal would create a continuum of schooling - from early childhood to year 12...

Investor education on Affinity's mystery buyer
Financial Review - Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald and Jake Mitchell - July 21, 2015

A mystery buyer in the market for Affinity Education shares is understood to be using a Brisbane-based accountant as a front. Street Talk revealed a high-net-worth individual had quietly built a stake in Affinity - believed to be less than 4.5 per cent - after the company received a takeover...

Qld told to stop shifting childcare costs
9News.com.au - July 18, 2015

The Queensland government needs to chip in more funding for childcare and stop shifting the responsibility onto its federal counterparts, social services minister Scott Morrison says. The minister has told a conference of more than 1000 early childhood educators a federation review...

Everyday conversations loaded with learning opportunities for preschoolers
Canberra Times - Amanda Dunn - July 18, 2015

But according to a large longitudinal study of 2500 preschool children in Victoria and Queensland, there's not enough intentional teaching happening in early learning centres, and the gap between children at the top and bottom of the academic scale by the time they reach prep is growing...

Vaccination law would let Queensland childcare centres refuse children
Brisbane Times - Amy Remeikis - July 15, 2015

Queensland childcare centres will have the power to exclude children who are not fully immunised under legislation to be introduced by the government. Having flagged the plan while in Opposition, following the New South Wales 'no jab no play' laws, Health Minister Cameron Dick said Labor...

Comment: The government still doesn't get childcare
SBS.com.au - Trish Jha - July 15, 2015

In particular a new Regulation Impact Statement (RIS), prepared by lobby group Early Childhood Australia in concert with the Department of Social Services, highlights how the government's proposed package has failed to take into account the analysis and recommendations in the recent...

Private schools expand into early childhood learning
The Age - Henrietta Cook - July 12, 2015

Private schools are descending on childcare centres to recruit their next crop of students, some of whom are still crawling. As the competition for students becomes fierce, schools are advertising on childcare noticeboards and even handing out showbags. The Learning Sanctuary childcare centres...

Laying the foundations for social impact investing
Financial Review - James Eyers - July 12, 2015

Another prominent social impact investing deal was Goodstart, which raised $95 million to acquired 678 childcare centres from ABC Learning in 2009. Three years later, financial commitments had been met and investors had been paid back their capital plus a 12 per cent return. The NSW...

Working families to lose childcare priority under Abbott plan
The Australian - Natasha Bita - July 11, 2015

Working families will lose priority for daycare places under radical childcare reforms proposed by the Abbott government. Parents will also face random spot checks to prove they need childcare to work, study or volunteer, as the government tries to control ballooning costs. The regulation...

Chris Scott: a former truckie en route to childcare baron
Financial Review - Carrie LaFrenz and John Stensholt - July 10, 2015

A knockabout former truckie and avid golfer who once made and then lost a $200 million fortune is well on his way to becoming Australia's new childcare baron. Chris Scott, 68, is behind the meteoric rise of the listed G8 Education, which now controls 450 childcare centres that look after more than...

Jay Weatherill proposes state takeover of schools, childcare
Financial Review - Laura Tingle - July 8, 2015

The states should take responsibility for early childhood and school education, and hand higher education and vocational training to the federal government, according to South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill. Ahead of the federal and state leaders' retreat in Sydney later this month, Mr...

Affinity Education and Pulse Health chairman Stuart James on M&A train
Financial Review - Tim Binsted - July 7, 2015

Mr James and the Affinity management team, led by chief executive Justin Laboo, are hitting the phones and setting up meetings with large institutional investors to explain why the childcare centre operator is worth more than rival G8 Education is offering. Affinity dismissed last week G8's offer...

Trade in Services Agreement could see international childcare providers enter the Australian market
News.com.au - Charis Chang - July 7, 2015

A HIGHLY secretive deal being negotiated in Geneva could see giant international childcare providers enter the Australian market with more limited future government control on how they operate. More than 50 mostly wealthy countries calling themselves the "Really Good Friends of...

Analysts less opposed to G8-Affinity deal
The Australian - Michael Roddan - July 7, 2015

While Affinity Education has slammed G8 Education's acquisition approach as hostile and opportunistic, equity analysts are less opposed to the idea, saying that a takeover would compliment G8's portfolio, and lead to synergies across a post-merger group. On Friday, G8...