The latest child care related news, views and reviews March 6, 2013
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Welcome to March (already). This week we look at the issue of workplace flexibility with a great article from Kate Ashmor. What's your feeling about pre-schoolers learning self-defence? Read our article on self defence lessons in child care and let us know.
Flexibility is good
…but child care reform is key

child care reformFlexibility in the workplace has been in the news again over the last few weeks. As we wrote in our last newsletter, since 2010 Australian workers have the right to ask for flexible working options as long as they have worked with the company in a consistent capacity for more than 12 months.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has committed to boosting the number of public servants working remotely up from 4 per cent to 12 per cent by 2020, but the Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, that working from home was not necessarily a "panacea" for those wanting flexible working hours - particularly mothers.

"For a lot of women, work is about leaving that care and responsibility and having a different focus," she said. "It can be very difficult to juggle both from home… people can end up more stressed."

She said those working for an employer who wanted to work from home needed to take into consideration a raft of factors, including who bears the cost of the home office, adequate support from and access to superiors, and issues around occupational health and safety and compensation for work-related injury…

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Self defence in child care
Sensible or silly?

self defenceThe Herald Sun reported recently that Melbourne childcare centres are giving self defence classes to little tots, offering a modified version of Krav Maga, using play, games and self-defence moves to increase children's safety awareness and protect them from paedophiles, bullies and other threats.

The safety of our children is of course paramount but is this going over the top slightly? Of course children need to learn, at some point, that the world is not necessarily a nice and safe place, but at this age, really what will self-defence do against an adult bent on harming them? Will they be able to throw them over their shoulder and get them in a neck hold? Will they simply go and practise their new skills on smaller siblings and friends in the playground?

Apparently the self-defence taught in these centres is a combination of stranger danger awareness, smart thinking and appropriate action. Dynamight Kids founder Leann Webb, who runs the classes said children were not being taught to use their fists, but to identify danger and react appropriately…

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