Early childhood key to improving Indigenous health: AMA
World News Australia Radio - Thea Cowie - December 10, 2013

The Australian Medical Association's latest report on Indigenous health points to recent scientific breakthroughs which help to explain why the cycle of disadvantage is so hard to break. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health report card highlights the impact early childhood...

Childcare wage rise used to lift union numbers
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 10, 2013

THE allocation of Labor's $300 million fund for wage rises for childcare workers was deeply unfair and the sector's peak union used it to boost its membership, an independent report has found. The PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia report, to be released today, also finds that the wage...

Grandparents babysit nearly half of Australia's young kids AISF finds
NEWS.com.au - Natasha Bita - December 10, 2013

GRANDPARENTS are babysitting nearly half of Australia's young children while their parents work, new official figures show. The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has found that baby boomer grandparents are caring for 40 per cent of babies, toddlers and preschoolers whose...

Childcare costs: families spending 9% of income after subsidies
Sydney Morning Herald - Matt Wade - December 9, 2013

Families with one child in full-time day care are devoting about 9 per cent of their disposable incomes to childcare fees even though the federal government spends more than $5 billion a year subsiding parents. A new Productivity Commission issues paper says families earning $35,000...

Mothers no longer rely on neighbours for childcare
Sun-Herald - Cosima Marriner - December 8, 2013

Gone are the days when parents relied on friends and neighbours to look after their children while they worked. New research from the Australian Institute of Family Studies reveals a sharp decline in the use of non-relatives for informal care of children over the past quarter of a century...

Childcare sector in state of confusion over funding promise shifts
The Age - Bianca Hall - December 8, 2013

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's announcement that the government would honour contracts signed by the previous government to raise childcare wages has only added to the confusion engulfing the sector. Labor had set aside $300 million in the budget to boost the wages of 30,000 childcare...

WA child care centres get lowest rating
PerthNow - Katie Robertson - December 7, 2013

WA has almost half of the nation's worst childcare centres. Six of the 13 centres given the lowest rating under strict new national standards can be found in this state. The rest are scattered across NSW, Victoria and Queensland. The WA centres - in Butler, Medina, Leederville, Geraldton...

Childcare fees don't reflect top quality
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 7, 2013

CHILDCARE centres charging up to $125 a day are not delivering the best results in the new national quality standards. Analysis by Early Childhood Australia, a lobby group for children's interests, has shown fees are not directly linked to quality. The childcare centres covered were...

Longer school day one of a range of options on the table in Productivity Commission inquiry
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 6, 2013

FURTHER means-testing of childcare payments, full tax-deductibility of fees and an extended school day will be among a wide range of options examined by the Productivity Commission as part of the Abbott government's overhaul of the system. The commission yesterday released its issues...

Productivity Commission investigate stay-at-home pay for childcare
NEWS.com.au - Natasha Bita - December 6, 2013

STAY-at-home parents could be paid to look after their own kids, in a "cash for care" plan to ease the nation's day care shortage. Tax write-offs for childcare costs and government rebates for nannies will also be investigated in the Productivity Commission's official review of childcare...

Productivity commission childcare inquiry calls for parent input
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 5, 2013

THE productivity commission has revealed it will investigate whether the childcare rebate should be subject to "testing of family/parent income levels" and whether childcare expenses should become tax deductible for families, as well as whether the school day should be extended to help parents...

Tony Abbott guarantees pay hike for some childcare workers
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 5, 2013

AT least 15 contracts signed with childcare providers for increases in the wages of their workers, including with the nation's biggest - Goodstart early learning - will be honoured after the Prime Minister made the guarantee in Parliament today. Earlier this year Labor passed legislation to...

Child carers warn on standards
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - December 4, 2013

THE peak union representing childcare workers has warned that safety and ratios are being watered down after state and territory ministers agreed to cut some of the red tape that is crippling the childcare industry. Workers studying for their early childcare qualification will be considered...

Federal Government eases childcare centre quality rating rules
Herald Sun - Natasha Bita - December 4, 2013

CHILDCARE centres will find it easier to win a five-star quality rating after the Abbott Government relaxed Labor's inspection rules. Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley said the states and territories had agreed to "streamline" assessments for childcare centres. She said the standards...

Jessica Irvine: Australia has budget emergency - Joe Hockey must act
NEWS.com.au - Jessica Irvine - December 4, 2013

And Australia can't afford to wait any longer. Unfortunately for households, this means that those who can afford to look after themselves will increasingly have to do so. Family tax benefits, such as part B, that payout to households on incomes of up to $172,000 are no longer affordable...