PARENTS who refuse to vaccinate their children may lose their family benefits payments or child care rebates
NEWS.com.au - February 1, 2014

The Abbott government has confirmed it is currently conducting an audit with a view to use a carrot and stick approach to address low immunisation rates. Almost half of the 80,000 children who are not vaccinated in Australia are the children of conscientious objectors. Department of Health...

Daycare Working With Children loophole putting kids at risk
PerthNow - February 1, 2014

CHILDREN in home day-care centres are at risk because of a loophole allowing adults living in the same house as the operator to avoid a major security check. Family Day Care WA president Sue Fielding said people over 18 who live in homes where someone offers a childcare service are...

Ley eyes childcare tax perks
Financial Review - Joanna Mather - January 31, 2014

Companies that sponsor childcare places to encourage mothers to return to work should receive more help through the tax system, Assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley said. A Productivity Commission inquiry into childcare is considering ways to promote employer-provided creches...

Grandparents propose "Mason's Law" after toddler's death
ABC News - Allyson Horn - January 31, 2014

Allyson Horn talks to the Townsville grandparents who are leading a crusade to make it mandatory for Queensland Childcare workers to report suspicions of abuse after the death of their 16-month-old grandson Mason John Parker...

Childcare 'should be on building plans'
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - January 30, 2014

PLANNING regulations for commercial developments should require a certain percentage of floorspace to be allocated for the provision of childcare and tax incentives should be provided so employers build childcare centres, a major review of the sector has been told...

Parents of nearly one in six children are looking for a childcare place
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - January 29, 2014

A NEW Productivity Commission report reveals that more than 16 per cent of children need but cannot access a childcare place, with parents of just over half these cases - 51 per cent - saying the main reason they want additional access to education and care is to allow them to meet...

Fire alert hits home in wooded areas
The Age - Marc Moncrief - January 29, 2014

The credo "work in the city, live in the country" draws families to the wooded villages of Melbourne's commuter belt but fear of fire and the love of children is keeping many workers at home. Childcare providers in bushfire areas have special provisions for high-risk days and in...

Families want Productivity Commission to review more flexible child care arrangements
Herald Sun - James Twining - January 28, 2014

PARENTS want more flexible childcare options to allow professional mums and dads to stay in the workforce for longer. Financial incentives for stay-at-home parents and government rebates for nannies are some of the ideas put forward in a Productivity Commission review into child care...

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...