The latest child care related news, views and reviews July 24, 2013
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The cost of child care is the subject de jour with media and politicians. We look at the facts. Is the cost of child care that inflated, or is it the hype that's inflated? We also have some great tips from our mum in profile Rebecca Mugridge on how to get kids interested in healthy food.

The cost of childcare debate
Is it really worse than ever or is it just a bunch of A.R.S.?

Child care costby Sophie Cross

The cost of child care is a huge point of political and media debate at the moment with politicians promising to "lower the cost of living" and free us from our shackles of child care and other burdens on the working family. But are we really that badly off with the cost of child care, or has the hype simply got out of hand?

Yes, the cost of child care is increasing. Yes, the cost of groceries and the cost of a vaguely normal federation semi on a postage stamp piece of land in most parts of metropolitan Australia is utterly ridiculous.

However, salaries are increasing above inflation (apparently, according to the ABS), and so is the number of dual income households. Interest rates are gradually going down and while the Australian economy is doing well, it will most likely start to slow down in line with the slowing down of China.

Among the seven developed nations covered by the 2013 9th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, Australia ranks third as most unaffordable major market. Apparently affordability is slowly increasing, but it’s all relative, and still out of kilter with salaries. In Australia the average house price is about 6 times the average salary (5.6 rising to 6.5 in metro areas).

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How to get kids interested in veggies
It's easy, according to author and horticulturalist, Rebecca Mugridge

veggiesFollowing on from our recent article on dealing with Picky Eaters, we talk to award-winning author of The Pram Diet and horticulturalist, Rebecca Mugridge, who is about to release her new book, Healthy, Happy Mums.

Rebecca is also a recipe creator, passionate about inspiring families to grow their own organic food. She currently creates recipes for the Maleny IGA's recipe cards.

As a horticulturalist, do you encourage your children to grow plants and eat from the garden?
Absolutely. One of the greatest joys of being a horticulturalist is being able to share organic gardening with my own and also other children. Children just come alive in the garden, they really connect with nature and it becomes like a live science lesson for them.

They learn about the elements and what plants need to thrive and how they work, where a lot of food comes from. They see first hand how many different contributing factors create successful gardening and marvel at the amazing world of insects and wildlife at the same time.

When children grow vegetables themselves they can’t wait to eat them, they love picking them fresh and crunchy straight from the garden, taking the easy eating kind in their lunchboxes.

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