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...

Anti-vaccination group encourages parents to join fake church
Sydney Morning Herald - Julia Medew - January 27, 2015

A controversial anti-vaccination group is encouraging people to sign up to a fake church because it may help them bypass Australia's emerging "no jab, no play" childcare laws. Under the NSW government's 2013 law and the Victorian government's proposed law due to start in 2016...

Childcare costs on the rise
Sydney Morning Herald - Simone Ziaziaris - January 25, 2015

Families will have to pay up to 60 per cent more for childcare services, because of greater demand for staff and higher staff qualifications, Child Care NSW has warned. Its president, Nesha O'Neil, said changes to government legislation have increased childcare prices significantly in the past...

New modelling shows parents would save hundreds if PPL cash goes to childcare
NEWS.com.au - January 25, 2015

CASH-strapped working families would save hundreds of dollars a month if the federal government diverted $1.5 billion from its paid parental leave scheme and put the money into childcare subsidies. New modelling obtained by News Corp Australia shows working mums and dads could save...

Hands off our kids, daycarers tell MPs
The Australian - Rosie Lewis - January 22, 2014

CHILDCARE workers are urging the Abbott government to overturn a new regulation that prevents them from using their workplace to care for their own children. Family Day Care Australia is seeking a disallowance of the legislation introduced last year, and due to come into effect on February 3...

Reverend Fred Nile a childcare dinosaur, critics say, after his latest tweet
Daily Telegraph - Alicia Wood - January 21, 2014

CONTROVERSIAL upper house MP Fred Nile has likened childcare centres to "day orphanages", offending mothers and childcare workers only a week after saying on live television that the only man in the Lindt cafe siege was the gunman. Rev Nile, the leader of the Christian Democratic...

Treading carefully on family policy reform
Sydney Morning Herald - Stephanie Peatling - January 17, 2015

Gather at the barbecue in any backyard these days and the conversation still swings to the cost and availability of childcare, the hours of a school day versus the hours of a work day and how long it takes to get everyone where they need to be. The political year finished in December with the...

Vaccination rates drop as plan emerges for 'no jab, no play' policy
Herald Sun - Annika Smethurst, Michelle Ainsworth - January 17, 2015

The Government has promised a "No Jab- No Play" policy that will require all children to be fully immunised before they can enrol in childcare. "Refusing to vaccinate your child puts both them and other children at risk of dangerous diseases and illnesses," Health Minister Jill Hennessy said...

Queensland prep eligibility entry age changes
Brisbane Time - Kim Stephens - January 15, 2014

As many as 5000 Queensland four-year-olds could potentially bypass kindergarten and enrol in prep this year, after an abrupt change to prep and kindergarten eligibility requirements. The Department of Education, Training and Employment announced at the beginning of the year that...

TAFE Illawarra and Big Fat Smile childcare centres form partnership
Illawarra Mercury - Brianna Parkins - January 14, 2014

TAFE Illawarra and Big Fat Smile childcare centres have formalised a partnership to meet childcare skills shortages not only in the Illawarra but as far away as China. In a memorandum of understanding, TAFE Illawarra childcare students will complete work placements at Big Fat Smile...

Back to work: Long hot summer holidays cost families dear
Sydney Morning Herald - Sylvia Pennington - January 13, 2014

The vacation care program attracts a Child Care Rebate, Markham says, which makes it more cost-effective than a nanny or babysitter, for which there are no government subsidies. The rebate covers 50 per cent of out-of-pocket childcare expenses. Other options for holiday care include...

Susie O'Brien: Every child deserves to be vaccinated
Herald Sun - January 12, 2014

The Andrews Government has committed to introduce a "No Jab, No Play" policy in childcare centres, requiring all children to be fully immunised before they can enrol. But why not extend this to schools and kinders as well? Just one unvaccinated kid puts the health of every other child at...

Labor's 'Being There' tips on budget aren't plausible
The Australian - Judith Sloane - January 13, 2015

This analysis destroys the popular political narrative promoted by the states and the opposition about savage budget cuts, confirming instead that spending on schools, hospitals and childcare is set to rise substantially for years to come. With revenue growth failing to keep pace, the PBO...

$14bn spending rise punctures 'cuts' rhetoric
The Australian - David Crowe - January 12, 2015

A SURGE in government spending has reignited the fight over the need for budget savings, as a new report outlines a $14 billion jump in outlays in key areas, including welfare bonuses, childcare and family tax benefits. The independent analysis highlights the danger of stronger spending...