Surge in fee relief outstrips growth in childcare usage
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - September 12, 2014

THE number of kids in childcare grew by 8.5 per cent last year, but spending on government subsidies for childcare fees increased at more than twice that rate. An extra 90,000 kids were placed in childcare in the 12 months to the December quarter last year, but the Abbott government has expressed…

Au pairs should have more visa options and minimum payment level, says industry group
Sydney Morning Herald - Judith Ireland - September 12, 2014

Au pairs coming to Australia should have more visa options and a minimum payment level, the peak body for the au pair industry has argued. The Productivity Commission has made a draft recommendation that the federal government should simplify working holiday visa requirements to…

Child care: Increasing demand for au pairs as shift workers seek flexible arrangements
ABC News - Linda Skates - September 12, 2014

The demand for child care outside traditional working hours is on the rise and outstripping supply in Western Australia. Many families that have both parents employed are increasingly having to juggle childcare arrangements. Shift work and fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) rosters means looking for alternative…

Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest's plea for indigenous Australia: Early childhood the key for change
Daily Telegraph - Matt Bamford - September 11, 2014

MINING magnate Andrew Forrest has called on all Australians to finally end the disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous - and said early childhood is the key for change. "I grew up with Aboriginal people, they were my mentors … they certainly taught me the things I hold dear now,"…

Affinity buys 20 more child care centres
The Age - September 11, 2014

Affinity Education Group Limited (ASX:AFJ) enters into agreements to buy another 20 more child care centres for about $19 million. The provider of education and childcare services says the latest acquisitions will boost its total portfolio to 140 centres. Affinity Education Group expects the…

Pre-school report cards: Parents concerned children in NSW could be unfairly ranked
ABC News - Claire Aird - September 11, 2014

Parents in New South Wales have expressed concern that a new report card for pre-school children moving into primary school could be used to rank students. The State Government introduced the new "transition to school" statement, which asks early childcare teachers and family to appraise a…

Higher wages 'to hit families'
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - September 11, 2014

CHILDCARE workers seeking higher wages will have a severe impact on families, especially if more money is not spent helping parents paying higher fees, a leading childcare group has warned. The Australian Childcare Alliance, which represents private providers, says proposed workforce...

It's time to make haste quickly
Financial Review - Jennifer Hewett - September 11, 2014

It also includes greater government support for "adequate and accessible childcare" with Livingstone arguing this is crucial if both parents are going to work. And like the rest of business, she is far less enthusiastic about the government's paid parental leave scheme, saying she would "absolutely"...

NSW government announces report card for four-year-olds
Sydney Morning Herald - Eryk Bagshaw - September 10, 2014

The NSW government has announced a state-wide report card for preschoolers that will enable kindergarten teachers to preview children coming into their classrooms. But parents and teachers remain concerned over the funding of early childhood education and the amount of children not...

Darwin childcare provider Goodstart wants parents to keep children at home amid staff shortages
ABC News - Rick Hind - September 10, 2014

A Top End childcare provider that operates 10 centres across Darwin has asked parents to keep children at home if they can as it struggles to fill chronic staff shortages. Goodstart Early Learning Darwin sent a letter to parents on Tuesday making the request as it tries to fill 17 permanent...

Childcare centres blacklist accredited training organisations providing poor graduates
ABC News - Alison Branley and Norman Hermant - September 10, 2014

Childcare centres have started unofficial blacklists of training providers they will not use because graduate quality is so poor. There has been an explosion in the number of trainers offering Certificate IIIs and diplomas in childcare after the Government made qualifications mandatory. Childcare...

Time for right policy to lift jobs market
The Australian - John Durie - September 10, 2014

She said Canada had managed to significantly increase female membership in the workforce through subsidised childcare and lower tax rates. Australia had increased investment in childcare but had not addressed costs, she said. Some 46 per cent of working women in Australia did part-time work...

Put vulnerable kids before nanny subsidies, Goodstart Early Learning declares
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - September 10, 2014

CHILDCARE reform should focus on prioritising vulnerable children and giving them greater access to early learning, ahead of subsidies to high-income ­families to employ nannies, the nation's biggest provider says. In its submission to the Productivity Commission, Goodstart Early Learning has...

More attention needed for before and after-school care: National Foundation for Australian Women
Sydney Morning Herald - Judith Ireland - September 9, 2014

Improving before and after-school care and holiday programs could be the most efficient and effective way of helping more women re-enter the workforce, the National Foundation for Australian Women says. With current policy debates firmly focused on paid parental leave and care for small children...

Review of family payments needed for more bang for buck
Financial Review - Ben Potter - September 9, 2014

The Productivity Commission has failed to consider the $7 billion childcare funding system broadly enough to get value for taxpayers' money, experts said. The Productivity Commission has -proposed a shake-up of childcare funding - which is growing rapidly, increasingly reimbursing higher income...