PM fails to reach deal with states on Gonski reforms
Sydney Morning Herald - Daniel Hurst and Mark Kenny - April 19, 2013

Agreement on early childhood education. COAG agreed to extend national partnership funding for early childhood education, following concerns raised by several premiers over the potential loss of kindergarten funding. According to the official statement, COAG agreed to a new National...

Free childcare scam aimed at intelligence staff
Canberra Times - Fleta Page and Peter Jean - April 16, 2013

Intelligence agency employees have been the target of an unsophisticated online phishing scam, which used a website purporting to offer free childcare to government employees to extract sensitive personal data. "Concinna Day Care Centre" was claiming to be opening its government...

Peeling a banana tests school kids
The West Australian - Bethany Hiatt - April 14, 2013

More children are starting school with such poor co-ordination they struggle to peel a banana, say physical movement experts. Curtin University developmental psychology professor Jan Piek said increasing evidence showed more children were starting pre-primary with poor gross motor skills...

Not all appy children get best of educations
Sydney Morning Herald - Rachel Browne - April 14, 2013

In the expanding world of early childhood education and technology, not all apps are created equal. Several Australian studies into preschoolers and tablet computers are under way and have found the devices can be an effective learning tool if used appropriately. But the problem for parents...

Roll-ups make national sense
The Australian - Roger Montgomery - April 13, 2013

G8 has been careful to not replicate ABC Learning's failings by financing most of its expansion through equity rather than debt. The highest offer management will make to purchase a local operator is four times its earnings before interest and tax; publicly listed companies will usually...

Australian Medical Association calls for mandatory proof of vaccination
Daily Telegraph - Sue Dunlevy and Petra Starke - April 12, 2013

PARENTS who fail to vaccinate their children should face barriers to enrolling them in school and childcare centres, the Australian Medical Association says. Only one state, NSW, requires childcare centres to ask for proof of vaccination when children enrol. And Queensland, South Australia...

Unions are better in theory than in practice
Financial Review - Grace Collier - April 12, 2013

The Creche & Kindergarten Association in Queensland is an employer with 28 centres. It recently emailed all staff. The email talks about what the employer is doing to get the money but says "the final step is up to you… majority United Voice membership is the only way that will guarantee...

Vulnerable children's needs not being addressed: commissioner
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - April 11, 2013

THE National Children's Commissioner will use her first major speech to warn that Australia has one of the highest proportions of children living in jobless families in OECD nations. Megan Mitchell will say today that she is concerned "we are not addressing the socio-economic needs of certain...

Who's hiring? The most in-demand jobs right now
NEWS.com.au - Sarah Michael - April 11, 2013

JOBSEEKERS in the insurance, childcare and energy industries will have the most luck in the next three months, according to a new report. Recruitment firm Hays' Quarterly Hotspots report, which looks at employers' hiring intentions, found workers in these industries will be in high demand in...

Birth is best time to start kids on the path of learning
AdelaideNow - Sheradyn Holderhead - April 9, 2013

SOUTH Australia needs an early childhood education system that begins at birth and recognises the early years the most important time for learning, the state's current Thinker in Residence says. In a radical rethink of South Australia's education system, Italian early childhood expert Carla Rinaldi...

Childcare centres fail to meet new quality standards
The Australian - Natasha Bita - April 7, 2013

NEARLY half the nation's childcare centres have failed to meet strict new quality standards - despite hitting parents with higher fees. Only 55 per cent of centres inspected by government assessors have met or exceeded the regulatory standards. The rest are "working towards" them - yet there...

Cost of bringing up baby will nudge $300,000
Sunday Herald Sun - Jessica Irvine - April 7, 2013

THE cost of parenting a first-born child in Melbourne has grown to $297,418, research shows. Melbourne is the third most expensive city to raise a child, according to the first state-by-state breakdown produced of the cost of kids in Australia. Childcare is the biggest single cost, setting...

Sydney's surprising baby bonus
The Sunday Telegraph - Jessica Irvine - April 7, 2013

GOOD news for young couples wondering if they can ever afford children: it might not cost as much as you think. Sydney has been ranked as Australia's cheapest city to raise children, despite having the highest house prices. A state-by-state breakdown of the cost of kids in Australia has found...

$150-a-day childcare that may come with a concierge
Daily Telegraph - Boel Eriksson - April 6, 2013

A CHILDCARE centre is boosting its daily fees to $150 for children under two to pay for late-night opening hours, a concierge service, allergy screening and an in-house general practitioner. In an email from the privately owned Only About Children Centre in Fairlight sent on March 28, parents...

Perfect match: au pairs and parents link up on internet
Sydney Morning Herald - Sarah-Jane Collins - April 6, 2013

Stressed-out families are turning to young travellers to solve their childcare problems, using online social networks to find live-in au pairs from around the world. Livia McKinley has two children and a busy job that sometimes calls for extra hours or last-minute travel. Childcare centres were...