Preschool mental health checks
Sydney Morning Herald - Jill Stark - June 10, 2012

THREE-YEAR-OLDS will be screened for early signs of mental illness in a new federal government program that will consider behaviour such as sleeping with the light on, temper tantrums or extreme shyness as signs of possible psychological problems. The Healthy Kids Check - starting...

Prime Minister Julia Gillard eyes plan for care rebate to cover nannies
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - June 9, 2012

JULIA Gillard is considering ways to make childcare more flexible for families with non-traditional working hours, including a proposal for a dramatic expansion of the government-subsidised nanny scheme. In a submission to the Prime Minister and Childcare Minister Kate Ellis this week...

Cheaper to have kids on welfare, says Tony Abbott
The Daily Telegraph - Alison McMeekin - June 9, 2012

FAMILIES who receive welfare benefits can afford to have more children than others, according to Tony Abbott. In a wide-ranging speech yesterday the Opposition Leader talked up the Coalition's paid parental leave scheme, which gives mothers six months leave at their full wage. Mr Abbott...

It's the young 'uns who really count
Financial Review - Alan Stokes - June 9, 2012

Bear with me while I slip this old bullet-proof romper suit over my steel-lined nappy so I can crawl into the crazy childcare debate. As a father of five, my crazy ideas about fixing childcare are probably worth as much as the myriad non-parents pushing barrows for their vested interests...

Kicking kids beat bullies
The West Australian - Bethany Hiatt - June 9, 2012

Toddlers as young as three will learn how to combat bullies and abductors using a modified form of Israeli self-defence system Krav Maga if a program being considered by WA childcare centres is adopted. About 20 centres across Perth have shown interest in the Dynamight Kids...

Preschool numbers drop as parents struggle
Sydney Morning Herald - Kim Arlington - June 8, 2012

HEATHER CLEMENT has calculated it will cost up to $4200 more to send her son, Ben, to the preschool at Darlington Public School than to keep him at the day-care centre next door. She wanted to move him to the preschool next year to prepare him for kindergarten but has been...

Daycare: it's not child's play
Financial Review - Emma Connors - June 8, 2012

Working mothers have always swapped childcare stories. Lately, these stories have taken on a desperate tone, with some mothers unable to find carers for their offspring and others reeling from fee increases of up to 10 per cent. Childcare experts sat down with Prime Minister Julia Gillard...

Bold reform demands fearless politicians - do we have any?
The Age - Michelle Grattan - June 8, 2012

Our prosperity relies on getting more women and older people in the workforce. WHEN Julia Gillard met the childcare sector to discuss affordability yesterday, she was concerned mainly with the cost-of-living pressures people are feeling. She knows this is a lethal electoral issue. But, when...

Fees top PM roundtable on childcare
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas and Natasha Robinson - June 8, 2012

JULIA Gillard is considering a shake-up of the childcare system, with the government modelling radical new ideas including paying childcare centres directly in exchange for moderated fee rises, creating a single childcare payment and subsidising staff pay. The Prime Minister hosted a summit...

Daycare centres price themselves out of market over smaller options
The Daily Telegraph - Neil Keene - June 8, 2012

PARENTS frustrated by years-long waiting lists and soaring daily fees are turning to other childcare options. The number of Australian children in family daycare - home-run care for groups of up to five - has jumped by more than 30 per cent in five years, Department of Education, Employment...

Childcare allowance uproar
Sydney Morning Herald - June 8, 2012

BERLIN. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet has approved a bill to provide parents of toddlers with an allowance for keeping their children out of state-run day care, a move that critics say would derail recent efforts to encourage German women to return to work after starting a...

Childcare's market model in dire need of reform
The Conversation - Eva Cox - June 7, 2012

Just who carries the costs of childcare services has become a visible political issue in the last few weeks, as the federal government confronts its own ideological mess. Concerns over the decreasing affordability of childcare have prompted Prime Minister Julia Gillard to convene a child...

Child care changes will take time: Gillard
ABC News - Simon Cullen - June 7, 2012

The Federal Government appears to be in no rush to make any changes to the child care system, amid Opposition claims today's summit was just a "talkfest". Prime Minister Julia Gillard met with child care workers and providers in Sydney today in response to growing concerns about...

Gillard forms childcare task force
The Australian - June 7, 2012

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says she will act on ideas from a childcare forum within the "next few months". Ms Gillard met with childcare providers and unions in Sydney today to discuss the next stage in reform of the sector. "What is clear from today's meeting is if we are going...

Childcare reform to appease unions: Libs
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - June 7, 2012

THE Opposition has accused Julia Gillard of having a secret agenda to give the childcare industry more layers of regulation and red tape in a bid to appease childcare unions rather than giving parents more support. The Coalition's Childcare spokeswoman Sussan Ley said the Coalition...