Financial burden of childcare revealed
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - January 28, 2014

FAMILIES with two kids in childcare are spending up to one-sixth of their take-home pay on care after government assistance. A Productivity Commission Report on Government Services, to be released today, reveals that government spending on early childhood education and care...

Cost of childcare hitting families
Herald Sun - Katrina Curtis - January 28, 2014

CHILDCARE costs have risen at almost double the rate of inflation over the past year, with parents now shelling out about $364 a week. The Productivity Commission's 2014 report on government services shows that more than a million children aged under 12 were in childcare in the March...

Reading with kids not such a great story in ACT
Canberra Times - Michael Inman - January 28, 2014

Canberra parents appear to stop reading to their children once they turn three, according to new data on government services. The Productivity Commission''s latest report shows the capital was third in Australia for children up to two engaged in informal learning activities, with 58.8 per cent...

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...