Barnardos Australia claims proposed overhaul of the early childhood system could see vulnerable children moved into foster care
NEWS.com.au - December 29, 2014

THE federal government has been warned a proposed overhaul of the early childhood system could inadvertently lead to a greater number of vulnerable children being placed into foster care. Barnardos Australia has told a Senate inquiry into out of home care arrangements that the Productivity...

Childcare fees to rise by 30 per cent, predicts Department of Education
The Age - Latike Bourke - December 28, 2014

Labor has not ruled out supporting means testing the childcare rebate, with spokeswoman Kate Ellis saying the Opposition is in favour of reforming the sector to improve "access, affordability and quality". Ms Ellis was responding to figures from the Department of Education, which is...

For towns like Walla Walla in regional NSW, childcare on wheels is a godsend
9News - Lauren Gianoli - December 29, 2014

While the cost of childcare could be on the rise - spare a thought for families in the bush, where options are limited or just non-existent. But mobile child care centres are increasingly trying fill that gap, as they roll - literally - into towns across regional Australia to offer a...

Childcare fees set to explode with parents facing huge fee increases of up to 30 per cent by 2016
Sunday Telegraph - Samantha Maiden - December 28, 2014

PARENTS face huge increases in childcare fees of 30 per cent - or more - that will force more families to hit the childcare rebate cap and receive no further government assistance. Despite pledging to address childcare affordability for parents, new figures confirm that the Abbott Government's…

Scott Morrison faces tough job stopping the welfare
The Australian - Adam Creighton - December 27, 2014

Projected to grow 25 per cent to $8bn across the next three years, federal spending on childcare is another area where benefits could be distributed more tightly. About 750,000 families receive both of the two existing payments - the childcare benefit and childcare rebate. The first is not…

Cheaper childcare ahead, Sussan Ley says
Financial Review - Joanna Mather - December 24, 2014

The government's families policy, to be announced in the first half of 2015, will put downward pressure on childcare fees, newly promoted frontbencher Sussan Ley says. Government subsidies are also likely to be extended to in-home care by registered nannies as the government tries to...

Morrison links PPL to family package
The West Australian - Andrew Probyn - December 24, 2014

Scott Morrison has flagged significant changes to Prime Minister Tony Abbott's "signature" paid parental leave scheme in a bid to win Senate approval. In an interview with The West Australian, the new Social Services Minister said he would "fuse" the new-look PPL with improved childcare...

Soft focus order of the day as Tony Abbott presents his new line-up
The Australian - Stefanie Balogh - December 24, 2014

TONY Abbott's desire to place families at the centre of his agenda next year was on clear display at Yarralumla, but all eyes were on a beaming Sussan Ley. Spouses, parents, children and an array of Bibles, including ­Senator Scott Ryan's oversized family heirloom, filled the drawing room at...

Budget woes dull festive cheer
The Australian - December 24, 2014

Childcare, where spending is projected to balloon by more than 25 per cent to $8bn a year by the end of the forward estimates, offers further scope for savings. Around 100,000 families receive the childcare benefit but not the childcare rebate (which is conditional on work), suggesting they...

Parents want more money for child care
Herald Sun - December 23, 2014

PARENTS want big businesses to help pay for affordable child care rather than subsidise nannies, a national advocacy group says. A SURVEY of 1200 mums and dads across the country found 90 per cent of them want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to invest the money earmarked for his paid...

Scott Morrison to be the Mr Muscle of reforms
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 22, 2014

TONY Abbott has rewarded Scott Morrison with an enormous new super portfolio placing him at the centre of delivering the Abbott government's biggest changes and constructing a budget package delivering childcare, welfare, pension and paid parental leave reforms. The man who is credited with…

Cabinet reshuffle: Tony Abbott promotes Sussan Ley to Health, David Johnston axed
NEWS.com.au - December 21, 2014

TONY ABBOTT has unveiled a more "significant" shake-up of his ministry than expected, with David Johnston dumped and Sussan Ley becoming the second woman in Cabinet. As part of the reshuffle, Ms Ley will become the second woman in Cabinet - after Julie Bishop - taking on the role of Minister…

Joe Hockey promises debate about fairness and tax reform, hints at budget family package and admits regrets
Sydney Morning Herald - James Massola - December 21, 2014

Mr Hockey has also hinted strongly that a support package for families that includes greater support for families with kids in childcare and a revised paid parental leave scheme will form the centrepiece of his second budget. In an exclusive interview at the end of a bruising year that has seen…

AFP to help investigate suspected childcare fraudsters, in boosted government crackdown
NEWS.com.au - December 21, 2014

AUSTRALIAN Federal Police officers will be asked to investigate dodgy childcare services, as the Federal Government escalates its compliance action amid concerns about the scale of suspect childcare payments. The Federal Government has made a formal request to the AFP to provide…

What do Australians need in a 'families package'?
The Conversation - Eva Cox - December 18, 2014

There are a lot of babies around, and the numbers are increasing. However, Australia does not have coherent policies that recognise the effect of parenting on workforce participation and vice versa. Parenting is still defined as a "women's issue" so no real policies exist to make it possible...