Canberra child care still most expensive
ABC News - Lisa Mosley - January 28, 2014

The ACT still has the most expensive child care in the country. The latest Productivity Commission Report on Government Services shows the median cost of long-day care in the Canberra is $442 per week. That is $78 more per week than the national average; $50 a week more expensive...

Maturity more vital than the three Rs for school starters
Sydney Morning Herald - Cosima Marriner - January 26, 2014

A child's ability to make friends, follow instructions and take care of themselves is a better indication they are ready to start school than knowing their letters and numbers, education experts say. As a new generation of kindergarten students starts school this week, teachers report...

Experts warn starting school too young harms learning, wellbeing
The Age - Amy McNellage - January 26, 2014

Children in Australia start school younger than almost anywhere else in the developed world, up to two years ahead of students in top-performing countries such as Finland and Korea. Experts say the early transition could be detrimental to the learning and wellbeing of students, particularly those...

Push to increase numbers in early learning system
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - January 25, 2014

CHILDREN between three and five should be attending 30 hours a week of formal early childhood education and care, in line with the European Commission's "Barcelona Targets", according to the peak body. Early Childhood Australia, in its submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry...

Carer training under review
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - January 24, 2014

AN investigation into early childhood training courses will be launched amid concerns that they are not delivering what they promise. Assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley requested the Australian Skills Quality Authority to undertake a review of the quality of training for the early childhood...

In defence of the barrister, the child and stroller
The Australian - Nicola Berkovic - January 24, 2014

BRETT Hatfield won't be wheeling a document trolley through Sydney's Martin Place this year, he'll be pushing a stroller. Mr Hatfield is one of the first barristers to sign up to the NSW Bar Association's new childcare scheme. In two weeks, his daughter Hattie will be negotiating with...

Early childhood, security among course reviews
The Australian - John Ross - January 22, 2014

THE Australian Skills Quality Authority has flagged those courses that will come under the regulatory microscope in the wake of damning reviews last year. Chief commissioner Chris Robinson said this year's "strategic" reviews would concentrate on early childhood, security...

YWCA wants South Australian child carers to undergo training to break gender stereotypes
The Advertiser - Lauren Novak - January 21, 2014

CHILDCARE workers should undergo training in how to break "gender stereotypes" to avoid pigeonholing boys and girls early in life, a leading women's lobby group says. The Young Women's Christian Association is calling for $360,000 to conduct research and operate a pilot program to...

Making nannies tax deductible isn't the answer to Australia's childcare dilemma
Women's Agenda - Georgina Dent - January 21, 2014

For many men and women, trying to arrange childcare for a child is the first time they will personally encounter any structural barrier to parents working. Up until the point when a childcare position is required it is easy to assume that in 2014, in a country like Australia, we have the...

Being a working mum still the toughest of jobs
Financial Review - Jennifer Hewitt - January 21, 2014

I attempt to congratulate a friend on her young family's handy proximity to a childcare centre. Her laughter has a desperate tone. Their 2½-year-old son has been on the waiting list for most of his brief life without getting the call. That's despite being willing to pay over $100 a day per child for...

Childcare rebate debate intensifies
Financial Review - Joanna Mather - January 21, 2014

As the federal government hunts for budget savings, the childcare rebate is ripe for the picking. Peak business and welfare groups are unusually aligned in backing means-testing of the rebate, which is a Howard-era policy embraced and expanded by Labor under Kevin Rudd. But means...

Childcare must work for parents and kids
Financial Review - January 21, 2014

As many working parents will attest, we don't have childcare sorted in this country and that is harmful for both workforce participation and children's learning and development. The Productivity Commission inquiry will look at both these areas. We spend $5 billion a year - a large chunk of...

Why childcare is about the economy, not women
Financial Review - Louiise McBride - January 21, 2014

The availability of flexible, affordable childcare affects the entire population. In 2012 women made up 58 per cent of Australia's tertiary education enrolment. However, participation of women aged 34 to 44 has barley changed since the 1980s. The reasons most often given by women when they...

Focus on childcare, not paid parental leave, government told
BRW - Joanna Mather - January 21, 2014

Professional women want the childcare rebate extended to nannies, but welfare groups say it should be restricted to lower-income families. The opposing arguments are made in submissions to the Productivity Commission inquiry into childcare, which will report in July. Consult Australia...

Cost of schooling children same as a one bedroom apartment
Brisbane Times - Marissa Calligeros - January 21, 2014

Brisbane parents who have a child this year can expect to part with at least $360,000 if they choose to send their son or daughter to a private school from Preschool to Year 12. The projected cost is roughly equivalent to the median price of a one-bedroom Brisbane apartment. Meanwhile sending...