$75,000 Childcare Bill Keeping Australian Women Out of Workforce
Bloomberg - Jason Scott - February 3, 2015

As her five-year-old son started school last week, Sydney engineering consultant Mary Stewart counted the cost of his four years in childcare -- A$96,000 ($75,000) at A$126 a day. With a three-year-old daughter, she and her partner still face another two years of bills. The fees have left...

Looking after Australia's children
9News - February 2, 2015

WHY IS CHILD CARE A BARBECUE STOPPER? Almost all kids under 12 have been in child care at some point - it's the norm for half of them. Only two in five Australian children under 12 are looked after solely by their parents. Child care is a major barrier to parents (usually mothers) returning...

We don't need more consultation, it's time to act on childcare
Sydney Morning Herald - Lisa Bryant - February 2, 2015

Unbelievable! After a process which involved 468 initial submissions, a 90-page draft report, a 60-page technical modelling supplement, 455 post-draft submissions, 1100 brief comments via a website, eight public hearings in five cities which heard from 140 expert witnesses and three...

Childcare lobby tick for Scott Morrison quality stance
The Australian - Rick Morton - February 2, 2015

QUALITY won’t be sacrificed in the pursuit of childcare savings despite the rebate contributing to the inflation of prices, according to a signal from new Social Services Minister Scott Morrison. Mr Morrison said he was committed to the framework that mandated teaching qualifications and...

Why the paid parental leave scheme is now off the table
Daily Telegraph - Tony Abbott - February 2, 2015

BEFORE Christmas I said that, over the break, I'd be better targeting the proposed paid parental leave scheme and scaling it back, as part of a holistic families package focused on childcare. I admire stay-at-home mums - as Margie was when our children were young - but still firmly...

Childcare rebate scheme is failing, with big business facing 1.5 per cent tax levy to pay for reform
Daily Telegraph - Samantha Maiden - February 1, 2015

CHILDCARE rebates face a shake up amid warnings the current system is as inflationary as the first home buyers scheme. In a stunning admission that the $7 billion-a-year scheme isn't working for parents or providers, Social Services Minister Scott Morrison has conceded that spending has...

RiAus director Dr Paul Willis says children whose parents refuse to vaccinate them should be isolated from others
The Advertiser - Elisa Black - January 31, 2015

UNVACCINATED children should be segregated in facilities funded by their parents to protect the community from "unacceptable" health risks, one of the state's leading scientists says. RiAus director Dr Paul Willis has told the Sunday Mail that children whose parents refuse to vaccinate them...

Working families are back, with more cash coming
The Australian - Judith Sloan - January 31, 2015

REMEMBER when working families were all the rage? Kevin Rudd couldn't get enough of working families and their woes. His aim was to relieve the pressures on them by providing even more tax benefits (including for older children) and even more childcare fee relief. And for working…

'Listening' Tony Abbott dumps paid parental leave scheme plan
The Australian - Dennis Shanahan - January 31, 2015

ONY Abbott is expected to ­effectively dump his "signature" paid parental leave scheme on Monday as part of a revamped childcare and families package in response to demands from ­Coalition MPs. Facing growing unrest and nervousness within the government, the Prime Minister is expected…

Paid parental leave scheme future in doubt as Tony Abbott insists changes are still being finalised
ABC News - Andrew Greens - January 31, 2015

he ABC has been told a final decision was yet to be made on whether to delay the planned start date for the PPL scheme, which Mr Abbott had promised would begin in his first term. On Thursday, Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said he was continuing discussions with the Prime Minister…

Top-end childcare provider urges federal government not to cut childcare rebate
Sydney Morning Herald - Jessica Gardner - January 31, 2015

The operator of a rapidly growing network of high-end childcare centres has urged the federal government not to means test the childcare rebate as part of its long-awaited family policy announcement. Brendan McAssey, the owner and chief executive of Only About Children, said a…

Solving the childcare crisis
Sydney Morning Herald - Alexandra Cain - January 30, 2015

Why is it so hard to find appropriate childcare? Finding childcare seems so much harder and more expensive here than in any other market. The reasons why have been fully covered elsewhere, so I thought it might be more useful to share a few stories from women who have solved their...

Young children need preschool time as well
Sydney Morning Herald - Lisa Bryant - January 28, 2015

Babies and politicians often go hand-in-hand during the lead up to an election. But as many three-year-olds dissolve in tears when they discover they can no longer enrol in their local community-based preschool, the pollies may want to steer clear. At this time of year for the past 30 years...

Paid parental leave faces change
The Australian - Joe Kelly - January 28, 2015

JOE Hockey has hinted at the prospect of a broad "reformat" of the government's paid parental leave scheme after Tony Abbott put the policy out for review. Early last month, the Prime Minister said he would be "better targeting" the scheme to ensure the government could deliver more affordable childcare...

Homework in kindergarten sends the wrong message
Sydney Morning Herald - Michele Freeman - January 27, 2015

Here is a sentence I wish had never been written: "Children are starting kindergarten less academically prepared than they were three years ago." It is from the latest Auditor-General's report on the education system in NSW. The same report highlights that primary and high...