All must lean in to fix the budget
Financial Review - Editorial - December 17, 2013

Middle-class welfare measures such as the childcare rebate and superannuation tax concessions that were introduced in the Howard years will have to be reined in. The new school funding plan and national disability insurance scheme, those huge Labor monuments, need to wound back...

Sorry, what does that mean?
The Australian - Rick Morton - December 16, 2013

SORRY, not sorry. A flaring argument among early childhood educators about whether young children should apologise when they have done something wrong has raged since The Weekend Australian reported the ruminations of Early Childhood Australia on Saturday. Child psychologist...

Review: Gonski, PISA and childcare under Tony Abbott's first 100 days
Sydney Morning Herald - Gareth Hutchens - December 16, 2013

Childcare. The Abbott government threw the childcare industry into disarray when its assistant education minister, Sussan Ley, asked childcare providers to "do the right thing" and hand back $62.5 million given to them to improve wages in the poorly paid sector. The move was...

Private preschool fees higher than secondary costs
Sydney Morning Herald - Cosima Marriner - December 15, 2013

Parents are paying more for their children to go to early learning centres attached to some of Sydney's most prestigious private schools than for a year of primary, or even senior education, at the same institutions. Independent schools Shore, Kincoppal, Kambala, PLC Sydney, Reddam...

Utility and education fees hit family budgets hard
NEWS.com.au - December 15, 2013

SOARING utilities, childcare, health and education costs are bleeding budgets - but households have reaped savings from cheaper cars, electronics, computers and clothes. Australia's electricity charges have rocketed by 84 per cent in five years - seven times the inflation rate - a cost of...

Nanny slave cases highlight gap in policy
Sydney Morning Herald - Kirsty Needham - December 15, 2013

Sydney families are enslaving international students in their homes to work as nannies. The discovery of three slaves held in a "psychological cage" in a British home for 30 years created international headlines. So why so little public attention to a disturbing government agency...

Baby steps on wages front
Sydney Morning Herald - Rachel Browne - December 14, 2013

Amy Bell loves her job at an eastern suburbs childcare centre where her days involve teaching, feeding and caring for up to 26 children. But she admits the pay is not one of the best parts of the work. The 26-year-old is just two weeks off finishing a diploma which will take her wage up from...

Sorry, but is it worth making kids apologise?
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 14, 2013

Now childcare educators are immersed in a raging debate about whether children who break the rules, hurt each other and are generally badly behaved should be required to say sorry -- with a strong and emerging view that the word should be dumped because children don't understand...

The government got it half right
Sydney Morning Herald - Michael Pascoe - December 13, 2013

It hasn't been the best week for the Federal Government – behind in the opinion polls already and copping plenty of unfriendly headlines. It must be of little comfort to think those headlines were the result of policy that was at least half-right. For example, moving to ditch the previous Labor's...

Labor's $300m childcare fund up for probity audit
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 13, 2013

THE Abbott government has taken the extraordinary step of referring Labor's $300 million Early Years Quality Fund -- designed to lift some childcare wages -- to the Auditor-General, arguing that it needs to be investigated over "concerns", particularly around "probity issues". It comes after...

Tony Abbott's broken promise to early childcare workers is a cruel betrayal
The Guardian - Kate Ellis - December 12, 2013

Too scared to break yet another election commitment, the Coalition asked child care providers to break it for them. Our childhood workforce has once more been let down and ripped off. Screaming children, soiled nappies, inquisitive minds. Our early childhood workforce work incredibly hard...

U-turn by Labor on childcare rebate
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 12, 2013

LABOR and the Greens will combine in the Senate today to block the Abbott government's proposed freeze on the indexation of the $7500 childcare rebate, despite Labor first proposing the freeze in its last budget. Labor childcare spokeswoman Kate Ellis told The Australian Labor would work...

United Nations wants Australia to ban smacking, prosecute offending parents
NEWS.com.au - December 12, 2013

Parents who smack their children should be prosecuted and teachers ordered to dob in tough-love mums and dads, the UN has told the Australian government. And it recommends that all professionals working with children - such as teachers and childcare workers - be "trained to...

Pay back childcare money: minister
The Australian - Rick Morton and Patricia Karvelas - December 11, 2013

THE minister in charge of the childcare sector has labelled Labor's $300 million wages increase a "slush fund" aimed at boosting wages for union members and has called on some providers to pay back $62.5m earmarked for low-paid workers. Despite claims from Assistant Minister for...

Childcare fund, pay rises, scrapped
NEWS.com.au - Adam Bennett - December 10, 2013

THE childcare workers union has warned low paid carers will walk away from the sector after the federal government scrapped a Labor scheme to increase their pay. Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley describes the $300 million Early Years Quality Fund, set up by the former Labor...