Learning crucial to childcare: Coalition
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - April 18, 2012

TONY Abbott's Coalition has promised the childcare industry it will not fund nannies unless they are as qualified as those who work in centres. Opposition childcare spokeswoman Sussan Ley said yesterday education would be key to the Opposition Leader's pledge that the Productivity Commission be asked...

NSW puts schools at the centre of communities
ABC Lateline - Suzanne Smith - April 17, 2012

Struggling schools in regional and remote NSW are volunteering to be part of a bold new experiment which aims to close the educational gap between children from rich and poor families. Those who take part will be much more than learning institutions, they will become community hubs - and preschool education will be a central feature...

Science fuels push for education rethink
774 ABC Mebourne - Suzanne Smith and Tim Leslie - April 17, 2012

A greater understanding of the huge impact the first five years of life has on a child's development is causing a major rethink of pre-school education. About 80 per cent of brain development occurs from the time a baby is in the womb to the age of three, and leading medical experts say...

Peak body warns of nanny 'risk'
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - April 17, 2012

TAXPAYER subsidies for nannies will put more children at risk of household dangers and place kids "well behind their peers by the time they go to school", according to the childcare industry's peak group. The Australian Childcare Alliance, which represents 70 per cent of the long-day childcare sector...

Government committed to early education
ABC Lateline - Emma Alberici - April 16, 2012

Education Minister Peter Garrett says the Government is committed to universal access to education by university-educated teachers for four-year-olds. Now the scientific research is clear and unchallenged that every child should be in a pre-school by the age of three and it should be provided by the state...

Education programs target pre-school children
ABC Lateline - Suzanne Smith - April 16, 2012

The latest neuroscience research on young children's brains may have major consequences for our education system. 80 per cent of brain development occurs from the time a baby's in the womb to the age of three. This means children living in vulnerable situations in dysfunctional families need educational interventions at three, not five when most primary schools start...

Insurer takes the lead on parent leave
Sydney Morning Herald - Eric Johnston - April 16, 2012

ONE of Australia's biggest companies will pay the equivalent of 20 weeks parental leave including a bonus payment for the first six weeks on returning to work, as part of efforts to keep more of its women staff in senior roles. The move by Insurance Australia Group, which has one of...

Parents should have a say about who cares for their children
Brisbane Times - Amanda Vanstone - April 16, 2012

Abbott's proposal may have sounded elitist but the idea itself is worthy. CHILDCARE assistance needs a rethink. Some people genuinely do not like Tony Abbott's idea of a subsidy for in-home care. (Others always say no to any proposition he puts and at the same time criticise him for being negative.)...

New childcare concerns at federal pay awards
The Sunday Telegraph - - April 15, 2012

CHILDCARE operators fear new federal pay awards will lead to a dramatic drop in the number of daycare places. Alice Voight, who owns the Moore Park Gardens Preschool and Long Daycare Centre, says the government's unified modern pay award will leave NSW childcare staff $4000 out-of-pocket...

One intake for Reception students catches parents off guard
Sunday Mail (SA) - Brad Crouch - April 14, 2012

MAJOR changes to the school starting age from 2014 - switching to a single intake for Reception instead of every term - is flying under the radar of parents. While children can now be enrolled in Reception when they turn five, from 2014 there will be a single intake only at the start of the year...

Children in hospital after meningococcal outbreak
ABC News - April 14, 2012

Three children are in hospital after an outbreak of meningococcal disease at Gladstone in central Queensland. One child is in a serious condition in Brisbane while the other two are stable in Rockhampton. It is believed one of the children attended a child care centre in Gladstone while the...

Parents swoop on childcare vacancies
Herald Sun - Lisa Power and Holly Ife - April 14, 2012

DESPERATE parents are using an online alert service so they can call childcare centres as soon as vacancies open up. The online search, which connects parents with 14,000 childcare services nationally, claims to help applicants "jump the queue" by alerting parents to vacancies overnight…

Desperate parents try to jump the childcare queue
The Daily Telegraph - Lisa Power - April 14, 2012

Natasha Reddrop, who used VA Pro to find care for her daughter Tessa, said the $20 monthly fee was worth it. The Clovelly mum is now using the service again, this time to seek cheaper care for her one-year-old. "It is so competitive around here. In the eastern suburbs there are so many babies it is really hard to find a spot,"...

Nanny rebate bad policy: Kate Ellis
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - April 14, 2012

CHILDCARE Minister Kate Ellis has declared the Gillard government open to further reform of the childcare system, and willing to embrace "new ideas" about how childcare assistance can "work better for mums and dads" but has drawn the line at subsidising nannies, arguing it is bad policy...

In-home care the shiftworker's godsend
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - April 13, 2012

TWO existing childcare options for parents -- family daycare and the small in-home care program -- should be greatly expanded to give working parents more options if they need their child cared for around the 24-hour cycle. National peak body Family Day Care Australia yesterday entered the nanny wars...