Grandparents make grand carers
Sydney Morning Herald - Cosima Marriner - May 18, 2014

The use of costly nannies to look after children is on the wane, with grandparents and childcare centres taking up the slack instead, a survey of 1900 parents shows. And the increasing use of grandparents for childcare has led to strong calls for the Productivity Commission's childcare...

Welfare leaders back GST reform
The Australian - Phillip Hudson and Jared Owens - May 17, 2014

SOCIAL justice campaigner Tim Costello has called for the GST to be expanded to cover private school fees, fresh food, water, sewerage, childcare and health to fix structural problems in government budgets. Mr Costello's controversial call was backed last night by Graeme Samuel…

Childcare subsidy cuts to hit middle and low income families, warns Early Childhood
Sydney Morning Herald - Matt Wade - May 16, 2014

The federal government is under fire for a budget change that will deprive families of $230 million in childcare subsidies over the next four years. The income eligibility threshold for the Child Care Benefit will be frozen for three years from July 1, saving the budget $33 million next financial...

Doubts over paid parental leave scheme
Financial Review - Fleur Anderson - May 15, 2014

Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said the government needed to do a "rethink" before it is introduced. "We need the right mix of paid parental leave, childcare and tax incentives," Ms Westacott told Radio National. "We just keep picking one of these things. If I had...

Changes 'punish stay-at-home mothers'
The Australian - Natasha Bita - May 15, 2014

A mother earning $40,000 a year with two children in childcare takes home $156 for three days' work after she pays tax and daycare fees. If she works a full five-day week, she takes home just $49 more for working the extra two days. A woman earning $70,000, with two kids in daycare...

Benefit will cut out at $100,000
The Australian - Natasha Bita - May 14, 2014

NEARLY 600,000 families with school-aged kids will be stripped of family tax benefits as the government slashes $7.3 billion from family payments over the next four years. Breadwinners earning more than $100,000 will be barred from the benefit, as the longstanding $150,000 "high...

Budget 2014: Family Tax Benefit cuts worth billions to hit families
ABC News - Penny McLintock - May 14, 2014

Families face cuts in welfare payments under the Federal Government's changes to Family Tax Benefit rules. The biggest changes are hitting Family Tax Benefit Part B (FTB-B), which will be cut for families when their youngest child turns six. Currently about 60 per cent of families with...

Federal budget: what it means for women, parents and families
Sydney Morning Herald - Marie Coleman - May 13, 2014

"Staying at home should be a parent's choice but there are limits on how much support the taxpayer can give," Treasurer Joe Hockey says. He wants to give people over 50 "every opportunity to participate in the workforce", and says "Australians under 30 should be earning or...

NT budget 'family friendly', govt says
ABC News - Xavier La Canna - May 13, 2014

NT Treasurer Dave Tollner said it was a "miracle budget" that was able to make savings without inflicting pain on ordinary Territorians. The NT budget revealed an estimated deficit of $723m in 2014/15, well above previous estimates, largely because it included the $521.3m cost of a new...

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...