Pace of reform has slowed: OECD
Brisbane Times - Colin Brinsden - February 21, 2014

It has also called for childcare support reforms to account for the high cost of pre-primary education and to encourage parents'' labour force participation. However, it said the only notable reforms in these areas over the past two years was an extension of childcare education to all children...

Childcare plan a trap for families
The Australian - February 21, 2014

WOMEN will be forced into debt and discouraged from working according to Labor, feminists and the childcare sector, who strongly oppose a business group's proposal for HECS-style loans for childcare fees. The Abbott government also has refused to rule out letting foreign nannies in on...

Qld strategy to boost immunisation rates
Courier Mail - February 19, 2014

UNVACCINATED children in Queensland may be banned from child care centres in a bid to boost immunisation rates. Queensland's Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says the government hasn't ruled out the measure as it prepares to introduce a major immunisation strategy. NSW has...

Children to be prepared for earlier start to school life under bold new education plan
Courier Mail - Tanya Chilcott and Sarah Vogler - February 19, 2014

SCHOOLS will play a greater role in what is being taught in kindergartens and childcare centres under a radical State Government overhaul designed to better prepare children for the classroom. For the first time, principals will become responsible for making sure children as young as three...

Parents call on Productivity Commission to extend childcare rebate to nannies
ABC News - Norman Hermant - February 19, 2014

Parents are urging the Productivity Commission to consider extending the childcare rebate to cover nannies. The Federal Government estimates there are 30,000 nannies caring for children in Australian homes, excluding au pairs. Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley says she is...

Limit PPL, fund childcare Abbott urged
Financial Review - Nassim Khadem - February 19, 2014

Top businesswomen want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to cut back his parental leave scheme and use some of the money to offer tax breaks for childcare, including nannies. In the lead up to International Women's Day next month, a group of senior women from different industries told...

AET interim profit jumps 43 per cent
Financial Review - Larry Schlesinger - February 19, 2014

The Folkestone-managed Australian Education Trust (AET), which owns a portfolio of 351 early learning centres, has delivered a strong set of interim results for investors and confirmed full-year earnings guidance. AET recorded a 42.9 per cent rise in statutory profit to $21.3 million for the...

Coalition childcare policy: Goodstart warns against larger staff-child ratio
The Guardian - Daniel Hurst - February 18, 2014

Major Australian childcare provider says it hopes review of industry is not 'an exercise in putting the brakes on quality'. Australia's largest childcare provider has warned the Abbott government against watering down national minimum educator-to-child ratios. Goodstart Early Learning – whose 641...

Funding call for preschool promise
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - February 18, 2014

AUSTRALIA'S largest childcare provider, Goodstart Early Learning, has warned there is an urgent need in the May budget for an overhaul of the federal government funding system that offers a "universal guarantee" of 15 hours of preschool for children in the year before they start school...

Labor offering 'false hope' on childcare, says Sussan Ley
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - February 17, 2014

ASSISTANT Minister for Education Sussan Ley has accused Labor of trying to "cruelly deceive" thousands of families struggling to find flexible childcare in Australia by suggesting family day care should be promoted as a form of nanny care. Labor last week asked the Productivity Commission...

Our lives have changed but childcare hasn't
Women's Agenda - Ros Moriarty - February 17, 2014

When maternity leave morphed into parental leave it was, thankfully, just a matter of time before the childcare debate moved beyond gender. The focus is now moving away from 'women's choices' to lost productivity in the workforce which is giving way to serious debate about the nation's....

Parents cash in on rebate - and then do a bunk
The Australian - Natasha Bita - February 17, 2014

PARENTS are rorting taxpayer subsidies for childcare by claiming rebates for unpaid bills, exploiting a loophole in the $6.5 billion funding scheme. Childcare centres have told the Education Department that some parents tally up thousands of dollars in daycare debts yet pocket rebates for money...

Daycare places as rare as the staff
The West Australian - Rhianna King - February 16, 2014

Childcare centre manager Shani Seneviratne is forced to turn away parents regularly - including women who join her waiting list as soon as they fall pregnant. But the extent of the nation's childcare crisis really hit home when her recently employed early childhood teacher had to quit...

Good and bad in au pair childcare
The West Australian - Rhianna King - February 16, 2014

Desperate parents unable to find a childcare centre or afford a nanny are using Gumtree or social media to hire foreign au pairs with limited experience and qualifications as a "cheap form of child care". Nanny agencies warned of the "risky" practice in their push for private in-home child care...

'Black market' childcare on the rise as working parents hit hard by fees
Courier Mail - Laura Chalmers - February 16, 2014

WORKING women are resorting to a black market for nannies in an effort to cut childcare costs. Nanny agencies say a significant proportion of the industry is now unregulated and cash in hand, with mums finding nannies online or through friends and paying them cash rates as low as $15...