The latest child care related news, views and reviews September 11, 2013
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The election results are in and so is Tony Abbott and the Coalition. We outline how the new government aims to work with working families. And have you heard… Kate and Wills are looking for a nanny. Don't worry, we're sure yours isn't going anywhere, but having made a U-Turn from wanting to go it alone, we look at how to deal with changing needs. It's all about staying calm and being flexible.

The Coalition's plans for child care
Flexibility, affordability and accessibility

child care policyTony Abbott and the Coalition have won a landslide election and now the task begins on converting ideas into policy and reality.

So what does this mean for working families?

The Paid Parental Leave Scheme is due to be implemented by July 1 2015. Paid parental leave is set to increase from the current 18 weeks to 26 weeks (six months). The pay rate will also increase from the current minimum wage to full pay, with a cap at $150,000 per working mother (which means therefore up to $75,000 per mother).

An interesting part of the Coalition's child care policy is addressing the red tape and ratios of the National Quality Framework that many child care providers are finding difficult to manage.

As its policy document says, the Coalition believes in the National Quality Framework in principle, but feels that the new ratios and qualification requirements may be too ambitious to achieve in the current time frame. The implementation is causing administrative and staffing problems for centres, with resulting costs being passed on to parents.

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Child care u-turn
What to do when plans change or don't work out

child care crisisLife can be messy and complicated. Sometimes the best-laid plans don't exactly pan out the way they were supposed to. Kate and Wills were dead set on being "hands on" and going it alone, but seems even Royals don't get it right all the time and now they're looking to hire help. So if your job isn't going so well and you fancy a great paid job over in Kensington Palace, then go for it.

But if you don't fancy doing that and you're in your own child care crisis; you've moved house; your nanny has left or your child care needs have changed for whatever reason, what do you do when you need to make new plans?

Talk to your employer. Don't be afraid to tell your boss and ask for short-term (or long term) flexibility. If you've been with the company a while, you are most likely entitled to ask for flexibility anyway.

Ask if you can work from home for a few days until you get things sorted. Most employers will be sympathetic and will want to help. But if you can't work from home, you can ask to take some extra days to work out an alternative. Your employer can't sack you for having a short-term crisis. The worst they can really do is to ask you to take unpaid leave if you've used up your holiday quota.

So if you've been dumped in the proverbial do-do, for whatever reason, follow the following advice:

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