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...

How do the 'No jab, no pay' law changes affect you?
SBS News - Peggy Giakoumelos - December 1, 2015

The laws withhold family payments worth up to $15,000 per year from parents who fail to have their children vaccinated. Parents who conscientiously object to vaccination for philosophical or religious reasons will not be able to collect the payments. The 'No jab, no pay' laws passed the Senate with the...

Christian Porter signals willingness to negotiate with Senate crossbench on family tax benefit changes
ABC News - Naomi Woodley - December 1, 2015

The Federal Government says it is willing to further compromise with the Senate crossbench in order to pass the remainder of its planned changes to family tax benefits. The Senate last night passed a bill to scrap Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part B for couples, once their youngest child turns 13. The current...

Fair Work Commission puts childcare pay bid in limbo
The Australian - Elizabeth Colman - December 1, 2015

A bid by the childcare workers union to win pay rises of as much as 70 per cent is in limbo after a Fair Work Commission ruling raised the bar in equal pay cases. United Voice last night was pondering the industrial umpire's decision 2½ years after the union launched its landmark equal remuneration...

Authorities powerless to stop emergence of underground childcare run by anti-vaxxer collectives
The Courier Mail - Jessica Marszalek & Rose Brennan - December 1, 2015

AUTHORITIES are powerless to stop the emergence of underground childcare run by anti-vaxxer collectives. The shock revelation follows the emergence of secret social media groups that are plotting to set up black market daycare to get around new Federal laws that will block childcare...