The latest child care related news, views and reviews July 31, 2013
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Have you heard of nanny cams? They are widely used by parents in the USA to monitor the activity of nannies and kids at home. We look at this trend and ask responsible or ridiculous? Kate Ashmor recently wrote a great piece for Women's Agenda, on the lack of available child care. What good's the rebate when I can't even find a place?

Rebate debate: avoiding the real issue?
What good's a rebate when you can't even get a place?

exasperatedby Kate Ashmor

Just about every time I click on a YouTube video, watch television or open a newspaper, I'm confronted with federal government advertisements informing me that we can claim a non-means tested child care rebate.

That's fantastic, except my daughter is still on multiple waiting lists for child care, as there is no availability for the days our family requires. She's been on some lists since I was four months' pregnant and she's now 18 months old. If it wasn't for her grandparents' assistance with care, I would not have been able to return to work part-time in January.

Our family certainly isn't alone. In the federal electorate of Melbourne Ports where I live, there are hundreds and hundreds of children waiting for child care. Indeed more than 1000 children are waiting for a spot in the City of Port Phillip alone, according to a recent Nine News report.

What is the point of telling us about a child care rebate when we can't actually get into child care to claim the rebate?

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Nannycams – ridiculous or responsible?

nanny camsAlmost 14% of parents polled in our recent child care survey said they were using nanny or au pairs for child care and this number is likely to increase while child care places for the under twos remain in short supply. But how well do you know your nanny or au pair and would you really know what they got up to while you're out at work?

Believe it or not the 'nanny cam' is actually an existing product sold throughout the world (OK, mainly the USA) and widely used by parents with children being looked after by nannies, au pairs and babysitters.

Nanny cams are now pretty widely used in the USA after a number of reported incidents over the last few years where nannies were found to be mistreating children in their home while the parents were at work. Provided by surveillance agencies and surveillance equipment companies they can be easily bought and installed all over your home.

In May a New York City nanny pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child after a hidden nanny cam caught her smacking a 5-month-old girl.

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