The Abbott government's evidence allergy
The Age - Judith Ireland - August 7, 2015

Look around the government's wider activities and you see a repeating pattern of either ignorance or ignoring of evidence. In answers submitted to the Senate over the winter break, the Department of Social Services says it has not modelled (i.e. doesn't know) how families will be hit by changes...

Parents of five in six unvaccinated kids support vaccination. So why no jabs?
News.com.au - Sue Dunlevy - August 6, 2015

THE majority of unvaccinated children have parents who do not object to immunisation groundbreaking new research has found. Adelaide University researchers analysed the 9.3 per cent of children who are partially immunised or not immunised, and found only one in six had parents...

Why Australia's parental leave scheme is a 'joke'
The New Daily - Rose Donohoe - August 6, 2015

When it comes to paid parental leave, Australia's current policy is laging well behind other OECD countries. And with an election looming next year - or perhaps this year - the issue of paid parental leave could prove to be a key battleground. But a look at economically-comparative countries...

Tony Burke's adventures in the Middle Kingdom
The Australian - Ben Butler & Christine Lacy - August 6, 2015

Childcare in China is exciting. Labor frontbencher Tony Burke, who's visited the People's Republic twice in the past 10 months to visit kiddie care facilities, believes it's "a significant growth area for Australian investment in China". So significant that we can’t find a word he’s spoken of the...

Coveted childcare spots could soon become even harder to find
News.com.au - Lauren Wilson - August 5, 2015

PRIZED childcare spots for babies under one will become even harder to secure if changes to parental leave entitlements force mums back to work earlier, a lobby group has warned. The federal government's bid to stop so-called double-dipping - a term coined to describe new mums...

All volunteer work should qualify parents for childcare payments, providers say
Sydney Morning Herald - Judith Ireland - August 4, 2015

Volunteering for activities such as Meals on Wheels and at school tuck shops should count as "work" that will qualify parents for childcare payments, major childcare providers say. Australia's largest childcare provider, Goodstart Early Learning, along with the Australian Childcare Alliance and...

It's time to get serious about real economic reforms
The Australian - Judith Sloan - August 4, 2015

The trouble is the Coalition is planning to use these savings on FTBs to splurge on childcare assistance in a completely unaffordable and ineffective way. In fact, families on very high incomes stand to gain $2500 a year per child in the new childcare package, something that looks like a...

Anchorage courts Affinity Education with alternative offer
Financial Review - Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald & Jake Mitchell - August 4, 2015

Private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners is believed to be the second party stalking childcare operator Affinity Education Group, having submitted a proposal aimed at addressing the company's funding hole. Takeover target Affinity told its shareholders not to accept an improved 80¢ a share...

Tony Abbott's childcare changes will 'reduce access and add complexity'
Sydney Morning Herald - Matt Wade - August 3, 2015

The childcare package at the heart of the Abbott government's May budget will diminish access to childcare services, reduce flexibility and introduce baffling complexity, experts have warned. A submission to a government-sponsored industry consultation by Professor Deborah Brennan and...

G8 Education lobs $185m cash takeover offer for Affinity Education
Financial Review - Jessica Gardner - August 3, 2015

Childcare operator G8 Education has sweetened its takeover bid for smaller rival Affinity Education, increasing its price to 80¢ a share and allowing investors to take up the offer in cash or shares. The $1.2 billion company put out a supplementary bidder statement on Monday morning, which...

G8 Education shores up Affinity bid
The Australian - Michael Roddan - August 3, 2015

Child care operator G8 Education has reinforced its takeover bid for rival firm Affinity Education, securing new debt with the Bank of Western Australia to help pay down Affinity's debts in the case of a successful acquisition. G8 Education today bolstered its approach for its proposed takeover...

Crossbenchers lobbied to sink Fairer Paid Parental Leave Bill
The Australian - Rebecca Urban - August 1, 2015

A coalition of unions, academics, and family and women's groups is lobbying crossbench senators in a bid to have the Abbott government's legislation to scale back paid parental leave entitlements voted down. The push against the Fairer Paid Parental Leave Bill, which is opposed by Labor and...

Mystery Affinity Education buyers add intrigue to G8 Education takeover bid
Sydney Morning Herald - Carrie LaFrenz - July 31, 2015

Two investors with past connections to G8 Education chair Jenny Hutson have been buying shares in the childcare operator's takeover target Affinity Education. Brisbane-based Taxonomy and Tasmanian-based West Bridge Holdings have together bought about $10 million worth of Affinity...

Childcare subsidies not essential for getting women back to work
Financial Review - Jennifer Hewett - July 29, 2015

Joe Hockey often cites Canada's high level of female participation in the workforce as the model for Australia to emulate. If only, he says, Australia could equal that it would add $25 billion to the country's annual gross domestic product. The Treasurer uses this figure as the economic...

Nanny subsidy trial: cost to providers means program 'set up to fail'
Sydney Morning Herald - Judith Ireland - July 27, 2015

But the Australian Nanny Association says that the cost to providers who participate in the trial will "outweigh the funding allocated to services wanting to tender". Under the draft guidelines, nanny services will receive two types of payments: a family subsidy direct from the government, and...