Affinity gobbles up more childcare centres
NEWS.com.au - April 8, 2014

CHILDCARE operator Affinity Education Group is taking over 51 childcare centres across Australia for $80 million. The acquisitions - through $65 million in cash and $15 million in Affinity shares - are on top of the seven centres it took over in March. The company says it expects the expansion...

Parents on the go in Melbourne's west welcome flexible child care options at the YMCA
Herald Sun - Ami Humpage - April 8, 2014

In a bid to deliver a range of flexible and family friendly options for child care, YMCA Early Learning Centres in Derrimut, Kororoit Creek, Taylors Hill and Truganina South are trialling a new family flexibility project. Under the trial, families will have centre-based access to health services...

Working mothers claim discrimination
The Australian - April 7, 2014

ALMOST one in five working mums lost their job before or after having a baby, a report says. Half of Australia's working mothers report discrimination during pregnancy, parental leave or when returning to work. Pregnant workers say they have been sacked, threatened with sacking or...

None of these award gains were hard won by unions
The Australian - Judith Sloane - April 7, 2014

Take the case of childcare. The main union, United Voice, has been keen to secure higher rates of pay for the workforce, as well as promote higher rates of union membership, but there are limits to how much customers of childcare providers (the parents) will pay in higher fees before it...

Childcare workers undervalued and underpaid, Victorian study reveals
The Age - Daniella Miletic - April 7, 2014

Early childhood educators feel they are perceived as being "just babysitters", with little respect and recognition for their qualifications, years of experience and talent, research has shown. A study of Victorian-based childcare workers found that a majority felt they were being driven out of the...

Why childcare is now a privilege: five-star centres popping up all over Sydney
Sunday Telegraph - Jordan Baker - April 6, 2014

OH to be a Sydney toddler. Yoga. Zumba. Language classes. Meal plans designed by nutritionists and cooked by professional chefs. If it were not for their pint-sized patrons, childcare centres could be confused with day spas. And they have a price tag to match. In some parts of city, the average cost...

Huge demand for childcare as baby boom hits ACT
Canberra Times - Julieanne Strachan - April 6, 2014

THE pitter-patter of tiny feet around Canberra is turning into a dull roar, with 2013 delivering a record number of babies. The boom is prompting calls for different funding models for childcare places to look after all the new arrivals. Already overloaded waiting lists for baby rooms in...

Have your cake, but don't eat it: The 'cake-free birthday cake'
Sunday Telegraph - Lisa Mayoh - April 6, 2014

FIRST went the candles, now goes the cake. Introducing the cake-free birthday cake - the wooden faux cake taking childcare nut-egg-dairy-gluten and taste-free celebrations to the next level of safety. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that some NSW centres now use toy cakes to avoid...

Refugees embrace new children's services training to emerge as qualified childcare workers
ABC News - Courtney Wilson - April 5, 2014

Refugees who come to Australia often remain isolated in their communities, but a new day care organisation south-west of Brisbane is helping to bridge that gap by training migrants to become qualified childcare workers. As well as providing home-based childcare, Kids First Family Day...

Unions' childcare bid at odds with Labor
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - April 1, 2014

THE trade union movement has broken ranks with Bill Shorten's Labor opposition and is pushing the Productivity Commission to means-test the childcare rebate, arguing that the money given to high-income families above $150,000 a year should be re-­directed to poorer families. The rebate is...

Yields sharpen on childcare centres
Financial Review - Michael Bleby - April 3, 2014

Childcare centres led strong demand for retail property in auctions on Wednesday, with bids for two sites in Melbourne's growing suburban fringes pushing down yields and showing that private investors have shrugged off any wariness resulting from the collapse over 5 years ago of ABC...

Iconic building future face of childcare centre
Financial Review - Mercedes Ruehl - April 3, 2014

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade has sold an iconic two-level building in Melbourne for $2.5 million. The developer that picked up the property plans to use the site for a childcare centre. Corner property 16 Bulla Road in Essendon is a heritage-listed red brick building with an area of 423 square...

Parents the losers as costs of childcare surge
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - April 1, 2014

PARENTS' out-of-pocket costs have risen faster than long-day childcare costs because of in­adequate government assistance, the Senate has been told. The nation's biggest childcare provider says that since the previous Labor government capped the childcare rebate in 2011 at $7500 per...

Should a nanny be tax deductible?
Sydney Morning Herald - Anneli Knight - April 1, 2014

It's a scandal some mums earn just $20 a week after paying for childcare. Something needs to change. Sasha Fegan, mother to a seven-month old and two-year-old, is keen to return to her job as a radio producer when her 12 months of maternity leave ends. She is passionate about her...

Tutoring preschool children growing in popularity
The Age - Konrad Marshall - April 1, 2014

This is tutoring for tots - or prepping for prep - in which preschool-age children learn everything from basic literacy and numeracy to how to hold a pencil. In the tutoring industry, "school readiness" programs such as these are emerging fast, spurred by parental anxiety and a...