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...

$300 million in suspect fraudulent child care claims unearthed by compliance officers
Herald Sun - Laren Wilson - December 18, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Hundreds of millions of dollars in possible childcare fraud has been unearthed during random phone calls with parents to check when their children are in care. The federal government's kindergarten cop squad has discovered an estimated $300 million worth of irregularities...

Affinity Education buys 16 centres for $45M
The Age - December 17, 2014

Affinity Education Group Limited (ASX:AFJ) is poised to buy 16 more childcare centres for $45 million...

Comment: There is no more money for childcare
SBS News - Trisha Jha - December 17, 2014

When the government announced last year that the Productivity Commission childcare inquiry would be expected to deliver new policy recommendations that fit within the existing funding envelope, there was outrage. But a cursory look at the figures paints a very clear picture as to...

Costs, planning laws hamper parents' childcare needs
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 16, 2014

WAGES, costs and archaic planning laws have created an inflexible childcare system and major changes are needed, including schools-based centres. Early Childhood Australia will today release a major report funded by the federal government that says wage costs and industrial...

Business pleas for urgent budget action
Financial Review - Phillip Coorey - December 16, 2014

MYEFO shows the child care rebate and benefit will blow out by $2.4 billion more over the next four years than forecast in the budget. And despite being wound back in the May budget, Family Tax benefit payments will balloon by $3.2 million more over the same period...

Brisk sales of childcare centres underpinned by demand
Financial Review - Nick Lenaghan - December 15, 2014

Surging appetite for childcare centres has tightened yields in the direct market and may flow through into the valuations of listed portfolios in the sector managed by Arena and Folkestone. Auction house Burgess Rawson has sold 45 childcare centres so far this year, worth more...

One mistake and budget blows up in Joe Hockey's face
The Australian - Phillip Hudson - December 15, 2014

A blowout in the cost of childcare and family payments puts means-testing on the table and the government reckons finding childcare solutions, such as nannies for families who don't work 9-5, is a winner. But with no extra cash to splash there will be losers and more tricky wires to manage...

Budget warning: Childcare and family payments explode by $5.6b despite budget cuts
Sunday Telegraph - Samantha Maiden - December 14, 2014

JOE Hockey has warned that childcare and family welfare payments are set to explode by $5.6 billion in a cost blow-out that will reignite the debate over means testing. The Treasurer's budget update will confirm on Monday that the Senate's refusal to pass budget measures to reduce spending...

How ABC Learning was given a new start
Financial Review - Joanna Mather - December 13, 2014

The man who rescued ABC Learning knows the value of being given a chance. Michael Traill's father was the principal of the local high school. He and his brother, Barry, often talk now about how privileged they were. "We had parents who valued education, who created opportunities for us...

Day care death: Coroner calls for new child care sleeping policies
ABC News - December 12, 2014

A coroner has called for a review of national laws to ensure the safety of children while they sleep at day care centres following the death of a child in Queensland. Coroner John Lock handed down his findings into the death of five-month-old Indianna Rose Hicks, who was found not breathing...

New toolkit to help kids learn from internet
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 11, 2014

COMMUNICATIONS Minister Malcolm Turnbull will today launch a new toolkit for the childcare and kinder sector which teaches educators how to guide young children in using technology in a way that is beneficial to their learning. The sector has been concerned that with information...

Victorian family day care cheats caught in $23 million scam
Herald Sun - Ellen Whinnett - December 9, 2014

OFFICIALS have uncovered a $23 million welfare fraud in the family day care sector, operating mainly out of Victoria. The Department of Human Services discovered 575 people - 502 from Victoria - working as family day care educators but failing to declare their income, while...