Affinity Education latest childcare operator to join buying spree
The Age - Jessica Gardner - April 9, 2014

Childcare operator Affinity Education has increased the price it is willing to pay for growth, announcing it will buy 51 centres in an $80-million deal that is equivalent to about two-thirds of its market value. The deal is a sign that two major corporate operators, Affinity and G8 Education...

After school care 'crisis': Alliance targets NSW Government over shortage of places in Sydney
ABC News - Rebecca Barrett - April 9, 2014

An alliance of after school care providers and parents, brought together by Sydney's Leichhardt Council, is ramping up pressure on the New South Wales Government to intervene in what they say is a growing childcare crisis. Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne says children are increasingly being...

Children suffer DNA damage from stress
Sydney Morning Herald - Nicky Phillips - April 9, 2014

Children who grow up in poverty or an unstable family show early signs of genetic ageing that may make them more vulnerable to certain diseases, a study has found. Telomeres, the protective caps that prevent the ends of chromosomes from unravelling over time, were shorter in children who...

Cough: Don't worry, parents, the kids are all right
Sydney Morning Herald - Elissa Blake - April 9, 2014

A new play from a former day-care centre worker playfully examines the rules and regulations governing our youngest citizens and takes a gentle poke at Sydney's stressed-out parents. "Kids can't climb trees or play in the dirt any more," playwright Emily Calder says. "It seems like the...

Affinity gobbles up more childcare centres
NEWS.com.au - April 8, 2014

CHILDCARE operator Affinity Education Group is taking over 51 childcare centres across Australia for $80 million. The acquisitions - through $65 million in cash and $15 million in Affinity shares - are on top of the seven centres it took over in March. The company says it expects the expansion...

Parents on the go in Melbourne's west welcome flexible child care options at the YMCA
Herald Sun - Ami Humpage - April 8, 2014

In a bid to deliver a range of flexible and family friendly options for child care, YMCA Early Learning Centres in Derrimut, Kororoit Creek, Taylors Hill and Truganina South are trialling a new family flexibility project. Under the trial, families will have centre-based access to health services...

Working mothers claim discrimination
The Australian - April 7, 2014

ALMOST one in five working mums lost their job before or after having a baby, a report says. Half of Australia's working mothers report discrimination during pregnancy, parental leave or when returning to work. Pregnant workers say they have been sacked, threatened with sacking or...

None of these award gains were hard won by unions
The Australian - Judith Sloane - April 7, 2014

Take the case of childcare. The main union, United Voice, has been keen to secure higher rates of pay for the workforce, as well as promote higher rates of union membership, but there are limits to how much customers of childcare providers (the parents) will pay in higher fees before it...

Childcare workers undervalued and underpaid, Victorian study reveals
The Age - Daniella Miletic - April 7, 2014

Early childhood educators feel they are perceived as being "just babysitters", with little respect and recognition for their qualifications, years of experience and talent, research has shown. A study of Victorian-based childcare workers found that a majority felt they were being driven out of the...

Why childcare is now a privilege: five-star centres popping up all over Sydney
Sunday Telegraph - Jordan Baker - April 6, 2014

OH to be a Sydney toddler. Yoga. Zumba. Language classes. Meal plans designed by nutritionists and cooked by professional chefs. If it were not for their pint-sized patrons, childcare centres could be confused with day spas. And they have a price tag to match. In some parts of city, the average cost...

Huge demand for childcare as baby boom hits ACT
Canberra Times - Julieanne Strachan - April 6, 2014

THE pitter-patter of tiny feet around Canberra is turning into a dull roar, with 2013 delivering a record number of babies. The boom is prompting calls for different funding models for childcare places to look after all the new arrivals. Already overloaded waiting lists for baby rooms in...

Have your cake, but don't eat it: The 'cake-free birthday cake'
Sunday Telegraph - Lisa Mayoh - April 6, 2014

FIRST went the candles, now goes the cake. Introducing the cake-free birthday cake - the wooden faux cake taking childcare nut-egg-dairy-gluten and taste-free celebrations to the next level of safety. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that some NSW centres now use toy cakes to avoid...

Refugees embrace new children's services training to emerge as qualified childcare workers
ABC News - Courtney Wilson - April 5, 2014

Refugees who come to Australia often remain isolated in their communities, but a new day care organisation south-west of Brisbane is helping to bridge that gap by training migrants to become qualified childcare workers. As well as providing home-based childcare, Kids First Family Day...

Unions' childcare bid at odds with Labor
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - April 1, 2014

THE trade union movement has broken ranks with Bill Shorten's Labor opposition and is pushing the Productivity Commission to means-test the childcare rebate, arguing that the money given to high-income families above $150,000 a year should be re-­directed to poorer families. The rebate is...

Yields sharpen on childcare centres
Financial Review - Michael Bleby - April 3, 2014

Childcare centres led strong demand for retail property in auctions on Wednesday, with bids for two sites in Melbourne's growing suburban fringes pushing down yields and showing that private investors have shrugged off any wariness resulting from the collapse over 5 years ago of ABC...