'Painful and chaotic': Community groups warn against U-turn on free childcare
The Sydney Morning Herald - Fergus Hunter - May 19, 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing a grassroots campaign to extend fee-free childcare as community groups warn of unintended consequences from a "snap-back" to the old funding system during the coronavirus-driven economic downturn. With childcare attendance rebounding...

Replace free childcare scheme with tax deductions to kickstart economy
The Sydney Morning Herald - Rosalind Dixon and Richard Holden - May 19, 2020

During the COVID-19 crisis the federal government engaged in an unprecedented experiment to save childcare centres from closure by making childcare free for Australian families from April 6. Rather paradoxically, that experiment has been so successful that the government seems ...

Free child care could end soon despite report hailing its success in rescuing sector
ABC News - Conor Duffy - May 19, 2020

The union representing childcare workers says ending free child care will threaten thousands of jobs and the viability of many centres, as the Federal Government looks to a new policy next month. A highly anticipated report into the Government's free childcare scheme has been released...

Don't end childcare support 'prematurely': Goodstart
Financial Review - Ronald Mizen - May 19, 2020

Australia’s largest childcare provider said it doesn’t want to see the government’s early childhood relief package or JobKeeper “switched off prematurely”, as a new report reveals the package saved the majority of childcare providers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Free childcare costs $131m a week: inquiry
9News - AAP - May 19, 2020

Free childcare for Australian children has cost the federal government about $131 million a week. A Senate inquiry into the government's coronavirus response has heard the plan for free childcare is on track to cost about $1.6 billion for the 12 weeks until June 28. So far, about $917 million...

Childcare expert reveals how to support our kids during COVID-19
The Daily Telegraph - Kelly Baker, Wentworth Courier - May 19, 2020

COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down and nobody has escaped the effects. We are all feeling the strangeness of our new world and that includes our youngsters. With many parents and / or caregivers working from home, routines have been thrown out the window...

Big Fat Smile to merge with Australia's largest early learning and care provider Goodstart Early Learning in June
Illawarra Mercury - Greg Ellis - May 19, 2020

Big Fat Smile and Goodstart Early Learning have entered into a merger agreement that is set to bring the two large early learning and care providers together by July. The merger is expected to be finalised by end of June and will result in a large not-for-profit organisation with 706 centres...

Extra funding is great, but more needs to be done, ELAA chief says
The Sector - Freya Lucas - May 19, 2020

The Early Learning Association of Australia (ELAA) has welcomed the recent announcement of additional funding grants to support funded kindergarten programs in Victoria to meet cleaning and hygiene requirements in Term Two, as children return from self isolation, but says more ...

Ten key questions facing ECEC leaders as they plan for a return to the CCS system
The Sector - Jason Roberts- May 18, 2020

With so much uncertainty as to what that future might look like The Sector has compiled a list of key questions that will need to be answered to ensure their organisations are prepared for a post COVID-19 future. 1. How will switching off “free childcare” impact my enrolments?

Free childcare should not be suddenly cut
Financial Review - Liz Main - May 19, 2020

Labor leader Anthony Albanese says the Morrison government must consult the childcare sector before any decision is made to wind back free childcare. Mr Albanese said the free service will be crucial to helping parents and carers return to work as the pandemic eases...

Free childcare unlikely beyond June
Financial Review - Ronald Mizen - May 19, 2020

The government’s childcare relief package helped save the majority of childcare providers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new review has found, but the sector should not expect to see the program extended beyond June 28. The package "succeeded in its objective...

Berejiklian sends NSW students back to school full-time from May 25
The Sydney Morning Herald - Alexandra Smith and Jordan Baker - May 19, 2020

Students at NSW public schools will be back in classrooms full-time from Monday, ending two months of remote learning for as many as 800,000 children across the state. Premier Gladys Berejiklian will on Tuesday confirm the May 25 start date following the "success of the phased...

ACT public schools begin phased reopening of classrooms, as coronavirus restrictions lifted
ABC News - May 18, 2020

Canberra's public schools will begin a staggered return to on-campus learning today, in what may come as big relief for families who have been accommodating learning from home thanks to COVID-19. The reopening of classrooms will happen in three stages. Students in preschool...

New early childhood online safety education initiative launched
Mirage News - May 18, 2020

A new early childhood online safety education initiative launched today aims to help parents, carers and educators teach infants, toddlers and pre-school children basic technology and online safety concepts. Playing IT Safe was developed by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation...

Childcare cost overhaul would be 'kicker' for post-coronavirus recovery
The Sydney Morning Herald - Jennifer Duke and Fergus Hunter - May 18, 2020

Overhauling the childcare sector to reduce the cost burden on families could help bring more women into the workplace and improve productivity, with leading economists encouraging the government to undertake a wide-ranging review to help boost the post-coronavirus recovery...