$300m payday for childcare employees
Financial Review - Phillip Coorey - March 19, 2013

The federal government has set aside an estimated $300 million to boost the salaries of childcare workers but on the condition that employers pay their workers standardised rates and conditions, potentially increasing union influence in the sector. Sources have told The Australian Financial...

Labor to fund pay rise for carers
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - March 19, 2013

CHILDCARE centres will be offered grants from a new $300 million pool created by the Gillard government to support wage increases for early childhood workers, in a bid to compensate centres for new requirements forcing them to hire more qualified staff. Under national reforms from next...

Childcare workers set for $3-an-hour pay rise
Sydney Morning Herald - Mark Kenny - March 19, 2013

Chronically underpaid childcare workers are the latest group to benefit from a federal government strategy of using direct cash injections to boost wages in neglected service sectors. After aged-care workers were told earlier this month that their incomes would be boosted, the Gillard Government...

Fund will help providers develop more flexible childcare
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - March 18, 2013

CHILDCARE providers and employers will have access to a new "childcare flexibility fund" if they wish to develop projects and test their sustainability in delivering more flexible care for children aged up to 12 years. The Gillard government will establish the $1.3 million fund to help...

Parents in the dark about problem childcare centres
Herald Sun - Fiona Hudson - March 18, 2013

UPDATE: MORE than 60 Victorian childcare centres are on a secret watch list over fears youngsters could be at risk - but parents are not allowed to know which ones. A Herald Sun investigation has found two pre-schools, 40 long day care, 12 after-hours care, and 10 family day care services...

Childcare sites to extend hours
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas and Mark Schleibs - March 17, 2013

MORE than 50 childcare facilities will extend their operations -- some to 24 hours a day -- in a series of government-funded trials to cater for shift workers and emergency services personnel. The nation's biggest childcare provider, Goodstart Early Learning, is working with the government...

Trials to connect police, nurses with childcare workers
ABC News - March 17, 2013

The Federal Government is to trial around-the-clock child care for some police, nurses and paramedics as part of new measures aimed at boosting flexibility. Early Childhood Minister Kate Ellis says the Government will also trial extended hours at childcare centres and fund an...

After-hours childcare for 500 families in trial
The Australian - March 17, 2013

ABOUT 500 families will be given access to after-hours childcare under government trials to make the system more flexible. The trials, announced by Early Childhood Minister Kate Ellis on Sunday, will target parents struggling with balancing work and family. Overnight and weekend care will...

$5m childcare experiment to help shiftworkers tackle 'tag-team run'
NEWS.com.au - Samantha Maiden - March 17, 2013

AROUND-THE-CLOCK childcare will be trialled for 500 families across Australia in an attempt to discover whether late-night and after-hours care can work for shift workers, including nurses and police officers. The Gillard government will today announce new national trials that will include...

Parental leave scheme delays force overhaul
Sydney Morning Herald - Cosima Marriner - March 17, 2013

Almost half of all new parents receiving payments under the government's parental leave scheme have experienced problems with it, with some mothers waiting up to three months for their first payment and others not receiving any at all. The delays have forced the government into...

Strategy builds a preschool revolution
The Daily Telegraph - Katherine Danks - March 16, 2013

THE number of Australian children enrolled in preschool has jumped 60,000 in the past four years. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said 266,000 children aged four and five were enrolled in a preschool in the year before full-time school last year, an increase of 8 per cent from 81 to 89...

Affordability undercuts preschool attendance
Sydney Morning Herald - Rachel Browne - March 14, 2013

NSW children are falling behind national benchmarks for preschool despite an ambitious federal government plan to provide 15 hours a week of early childhood education the year before full-time schooling. Just over 60 per cent of NSW preschoolers are enrolled for 15 hours or more...

Victorian preschoolers missing out because of cost: experts
The Age - Rachel Browne - March 14, 2013

Victorian children are falling behind national benchmarks for preschool despite an ambitious federal government plan to provide 15 hours a week of early childhood education the year before full-time schooling. Only a third of Victorian children attending preschool are enrolled for 15 hours or more...

Greens push for inquiry into child-care funding
Sydney Morning Herald - Rachel Browne - March 12, 2013

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young will attempt to force a wide-ranging inquiry into the cost and availability of child care in Australia. Ms Hanson-Young will move an order for a production of documents in the Senate on Tuesday, which will compel the Productivity Commission to produce...

Tassie's kinder surprise
The Mercury - Matt Smith - March 11, 2013

TASMANIA is a world leader when it comes to kindergarten attendance, a new report shows. While Australia lags behind the worldwide average for kindergarten attendance, Tasmania compares favourably to leading countries, a new study from the OECD (Organisation for Economic...