City of Sydney budgets for a record $1.94 billion infrastructure spend
Sydney Morning Herald - Leesha McKenny - May 13, 2014

But Labor has criticised the council's draft budget and long-term financial plan – billed as an infrastructure program for the city's rapidly growing population – as failing to deliver on a promise to meet the city's immediate demand for more childcare. The council''s largest-ever capital works...

States fear Closing the Gap setback
The Australian - Sarah Martin - May 13, 2014

KEY Closing the Gap programs and family centres for indigenous children are at risk in today's budget, with state governments bracing for the end of the 2009 National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development. The agreement committed $564 million to improving...

Funding cut jeopardises innovative Aboriginal learning program
SBS News - Karen Ashford - May 12, 2014

A small-scale but ground breaking program on South Australia's APY Lands is producing stunning results in early childhood education, in a region with amongst the poorest educational outcomes in the nation. Instead of waiting until pre-school to begin lessons, Aboriginal children are getting...

Early learning centres welcome return of common sense to the playground
The Sunday Mail - Jackie Sinnerton - May 11, 2014

THE bubble wrap has burst in childcare centres across Australia. Sticks, mud pits, swings and tree climbing are back as "common sense prevails" and staff are trusted with risk assessment. Under the Federal Government's National Quality Framework, thousands of early learning centres are...

School halls, playgrounds up for hire: Labor
Sydney Morning Herald - Kirsty Needham - May 10, 2014

School playgrounds, computers, halls and sporting fields are not "owned" by school principals, says Labor, and these taxpayer-funded facilities should be open for use by local communities. After-school childcare, weekend parking, local sporting competitions and training are some of the uses...

Council childcare sets the stage for parents to return to the theatre
Sydney Morning Herald - Andrew Taylor - May 9, 2014

With three children under the age of six, Elsa Santo and Richard Vowles could be forgiven for wanting to spend evenings at home massaging the remote control. But Ms Santo applauds the City of Sydney's decision to provide evening childcare for people wishing to attend the theatre...

Half of families pay no net tax if welfare benefits deducted, new figures reveal
NEWS.com.au - Jessica Irvine - May 9, 2014

HALF of Australian families receive more in welfare than they pay in income tax, new figures reveal. As the Abbott government sharpens its budget razor on welfare, the figures reveal just how dependent we've become. The exclusive modelling for News Corp Australia by the National...

Preschool hours may get chopped in upcoming Budget
Herald Sun - Andrea Hamblin - May 7, 2014

CHILDREN may have their preschool hours chopped by a third as kindergartens look likely to fall victim to Tony Abbott's Budget axe. Preschoolers may only receive 10 hours of education per week from next year, and parents fear they may also be lumped with a fee hike to cover Budget cuts...

Vow to lift workplace childcare
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - May 6, 2014

MORE childcare at workplaces and centres offering rosters that allow the children of parents whose working hours shift from week to week to attend as required are among the key issues the Abbott government wants addressed. Assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley last week outlined the...

Less school playtime for kids
The West Australian - Bethany Hiatt - May 6, 2014

Kindergarten and pre-primary children are missing out on playing with blocks or dressing up to play imaginary games because of increased academic pressure in many WA schools, early childhood educators have warned. Four early childhood groups have banded together to raise concerns that...

$200m redirected from wages to childcare training
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - May 5, 2014

THE Abbott government will redirect about $200 million that was meant to go to lifting childcare wages helping long day care services with the cost of upskilling and training their workers to meet the requirements of the National Quality Framework. Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley...

Federal Government allocates $200 million to improve childcare centre staffing
NEWS.com.au - May 5, 2014

CHILDCARE centres across the country will be eligible to claim up to $10,450 for each full time staff member, under a $200 million government plan to boost the skills of childcare workers. Despite being urged by the National Commission of Audit to dramatically scale back spending, the Federal...

Budget funds to fight flu, increase prison beds and renovate kindergartens
NEWS.com.au - May 4, 2014

Kindergarten kids will also benefit from a $15 million ­investment for building upgrades, play equipment, new kinders and early learning centres. Early Childhood Minister Wendy Lovell said the funding would help more children ­access early-years services. "We know that we can set children...

Mums return to work - but not for the money
Sydney Morning Herald - Cosima Marriner - May 3, 2014

More women are reporting they don't make any money when they go back to work after having children. One in three preschool parents surveyed by childcare industry website careforkids.com.au say they have returned to work despite it not being financially viable. This is a slight rise on the...

Joseph Sparling's Abecedarian approach to early learning is making a difference in indigenous communities
The Age - Konrad Marshall - May 2, 2014

A ground-breaking education project that changed the lives of disadvantaged children in the US is now being repeated in remote Aboriginal communities. In 1972, Professor Joe Sparling was little more than your average 36-year-old with a PhD in educational psychology, roaming the opulent...