Tony Abbott guarantees pay hike for some childcare workers
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 5, 2013

AT least 15 contracts signed with childcare providers for increases in the wages of their workers, including with the nation's biggest - Goodstart early learning - will be honoured after the Prime Minister made the guarantee in Parliament today. Earlier this year Labor passed legislation to...

Child carers warn on standards
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 4, 2013

THE peak union representing childcare workers has warned that safety and ratios are being watered down after state and territory ministers agreed to cut some of the red tape that is crippling the childcare industry. Workers studying for their early childcare qualification will be considered...

Federal Government eases childcare centre quality rating rules
Herald Sun - Natasha Bita - December 4, 2013

CHILDCARE centres will find it easier to win a five-star quality rating after the Abbott Government relaxed Labor's inspection rules. Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley said the states and territories had agreed to "streamline" assessments for childcare centres. She said the standards...

Jessica Irvine: Australia has budget emergency - Joe Hockey must act
NEWS.com.au - Jessica Irvine - December 4, 2013

And Australia can't afford to wait any longer. Unfortunately for households, this means that those who can afford to look after themselves will increasingly have to do so. Family tax benefits, such as part B, that payout to households on incomes of up to $172,000 are no longer affordable...

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's plan to claw back $3 billion in family and welfare payments
Courier-Mail - Renee Viellaris - December 4, 2013

READERS have reacted angrily to Abbott Government moves to claw back almost $3 billion in family and welfare payments under laws to tighten eligibility. Pensioners, students and families have been included in the savings measures that will start from January. The story has attracted...

Inoculate Australia against complacency: ACCI
Financial Review - Jacob Greber - December 3, 2013

ACCI's wish list of more than 20 proposals includes making Treasury produce 10-year budgets, rather than four; wind back income tax bracket creep; pare back Prime Minister Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme; tighten means testing on child-care benefits; and sell government assets...

Denmark is one of the best countries for working families. US and UK take note
The Guardian (UK) - Nicola Whitcombe - December 3, 2013

Denmark's universal nursery care is worth emulating, as is the Danish cultural norm of giving kids a lot of responsibilities. Imagine taking 23 children, who range in age from three to six years, on a sledding trip. There are three adults to supervise them, but the children have to take...

Companies ease load for working parents
Sydney Morning Herald - Cosima Marriner - December 1, 2013

It is a common dilemma for working parents as school finishes up for the year - how to stretch four weeks of annual leave to cover three months of school holidays. Now some of Australia's largest companies, such as Coles, are coming to the aid of their staff, providing in-house vacation...

Parents continue to battle for childcare places in NSW
Sunday Telegraph - Lisa Mayoh - November 30, 2013

DESPERATE parents are paying non-refundable fees of up to $400 to put their child's name on waiting lists for care, while others queuing up from 3am to secure a spot in pre school for their children. Welcome to the manic search to find childcare in Sydney - and it's about to get worse...

Affinity plans $77.5m childcare centre buy-up
Financial Review - Sally Rose - November 30, 2013

Affinity Education Group is a start-up looking to raise $77.5 million to fund buying a network of childcare centres. Since incorporating in May, Affinity’s directors have negotiated 30 conditional agreements (pending a successful float) to buy 68 centres.The strategy is economies of...

Sink or swim in the flood of floats
Financial Review - Philip Baker - November 30, 2013

With a number of companies set to list on the ASX, including Affinity, Nine Entertainment and Dick Smith, investors need to pick their punts with care. A wise broker once said the difference between a hand grenade and a company float is that the average investor has enough sense to throw...

Part-time work popular: study
Financial Review - November 29, 2013

"Nearly 60 per cent of women caring for children said that the availability of childcare places was also a very important consideration when looking for work, followed by financial assistance with childcare costs," the ABS's Stephen Collett says. The data finds 2.6 million people are...

Greens stand against childcare changes
The Australian - November 26, 2013

FEDERAL government plans to review childcare funding face mounting opposition, with the Australian Greens vowing to stand against any legislation in the upper house. The coalition intends to undertake a ministerial review of the Early Years Quality Fund, designed by the former Labor...

Childcare worker betrayal worsens gender gap
Canberra Times - Jenna Price - November 26, 2013

The Abbott government wants to entrench the gender pay gap. That early symbolism of having just one woman in cabinet showed a complete disregard and disrespect for half the population. Now that disrespect has been underscored by the next despicable act of this government. Childcare...

GST on fresh food, childcare would boost federal finances and close budget black hole
NEWS.com.au - Jessica Irvine - November 25, 2013

BROADENING the GST to apply to fresh food, health, education, childcare, water and sewerage would raise $13 billion a year and help plug a yawning gap in federal finances, new analysis reveals. Despite the weakening economy, Treasurer Joe Hockey is being urged make "tough...