Childcare Services
Browse the latest child care news, trends, standards and information in the Australian Child Care industry from child care professionals, educators, experts and associations on Top4 News.
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Health minister condemns ‘frightening’ practice of underground anti-vaxxer childcare

Health minister condemns ‘frightening’ practice of underground anti-vaxxer childcare | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

In a move that has shocked health authorities, anti-vaxxers are going underground and are setting up black market child care in response to the ‘no jab, no play’ laws. The parents, who refuse to vaccinate their children, are skirting new state and federal laws that mean they lose childcare rebates if vaccines aren’t up to date, reports 


The Courier Mail. Childcare centres will be allowed to reject unvaccinated children from January. Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children are using Facebook to offer to care for each other’s children, which authorities have labelled as “reckless, scary” and “a crazy move”.


The Federal Government was warned earlier this month that “underground services” would pop up to beat the laws.

Health authorities are now worried the groups will be a hotbed for disease, potentially allowing deadly illnesses like whooping cough to rip through clusters of unvaccinated babies and toddlers.

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New childcare deal leaves average families better off by up to $4000-a-year

New childcare deal leaves average families better off by up to $4000-a-year | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

AVERAGE families earning $115,000 and with two kids in childcare will be nearly $4000-a-year better off under a new Robin Hood childcare policy that will slash rebates for the rich to 20 per cent.

The Turnbull government will unveil a revamped childcare policy this week that will force families earning more than $250,000 to pay more for childcare, and exempt 3900 grandparent carers from work- activity tests.


Stay-at-home mums using childcare will also pay more unless they work more.After bruising debates over “what’s rich?” when planning cuts to middle-class welfare, the government has set a new $250,000 threshold that will see parents no longer receive the full 50 per cent rebate.


For families earning more than $340,000, the new childcare rebate will go down to 20 per cent, meaning taxpayers will contribute 20 cents in the dollar or less towards very high-income families’ childcare. The changes are designed to inject more “fairness’’ into the system and follow extensive consultation in which parents suggested rebates to families earning more than $250,000 were too generous.

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Authorities powerless to stop emergence of underground childcare run by anti-vaxxer collectives

Authorities powerless to stop emergence of underground childcare run by anti-vaxxer collectives | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

AUTHORITIES are powerless to stop the emergence of underground childcare run by anti-vaxxer collectives. The shock revelation follows the emergence of secret social media groups that are plotting to set up black market daycare to get around new Federal laws that will block childcare payments to families who refuse to immunise from January next year.


Despite universal condemnation yesterday, The Courier-Mail has learned state and federal education departments have no jurisdiction over parents setting up unqualified childcare arrangements because it’s considered babysitting, rather than formal care. Under federal laws policed by the states, family daycare centres in the community that care for more than three children must be linked to approved and fully regulated operators.


But a loophole means that if services are not commercially advertised, it’s considered informal babysitting. The Federal Education Department notes unregulated services “have the potential to jeopardise the safety and educational outcomes for children”.

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Childcare shortage: Leichhardt council to turn Town Hall into after school childcare centre

Childcare shortage: Leichhardt council to turn Town Hall into after school childcare centre | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

The shortage of available after-school child-care has become so critical that a Sydney council has been forced to open its town hall for local school children. Leichhardt council in Sydney's inner west will turn its historic centre of business into an after-school centre from next year. The move is just one solution to the shortfall in available services acoss Sydney as after-school places in the lower-north shore and the eastern suburbs continue to overflow. 

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Leichhardt currently has almost 4500 primary school students and after-school care capacity for about 1200 and in the Willoughby council area on the lower North Shore there are less than 500 after-school care places for more than 5000 students.

"With literally hundreds of small children being deposited outside the school gate at 3pm or sent home alone to fend for themselves, council decided to take urgent action to do what we can," said Leichhardt mayor Darcy Byrne.  

The chief executive of Network of Community Activities, Robyn Monro-Miller said that Leichhardt was one of the worst-affected areas, along with North Sydney and Parramatta. "We need existing services to have their capacity dramatically increased," she said. 


Cr Byrne said the shortage had become a gender issue with hundreds of local women are being prevented from returning to work because of the critical shortage of after-school care. 

"Without action the problem is going to get much worse in the next couple of years as our primary school population continues to boom," he said.





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Alcohol and drug consumption cause child abuse, say Australian children

Alcohol and drug consumption cause child abuse, say Australian children | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

A survey conducted by ChildFund Alliance, a global children’s welfare group, has found that growing numbers of Australia’s children identify alcohol and drugs as leading causes of child abuse. The study found that Aussie kids are becoming increasingly worried about Australia’s thriving drinking culture.


The Small Voices, Big Dreams Survey 2015 found that 70 percent of Australian children identified drugs and alcohol consumption by adults for the maltreatment of children, as opposed to the global average of 4 percent children.


Nigel Spence, CEO of ChildFund Australia, pointed out the sharp increase in the concern of children from 45 percent in 2013. “We know that alcohol-fuelled violence is commonly reported in the news and may also be experienced in the home,” said Spence in a ChildFund press release. “This result is a stark reminder that Australian children comprehend how alcohol and drugs can lead to abuse, and demonstrates their high degree of concern.”

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Charity consortium to provide new out of home care for children

Charity consortium to provide new out of home care for children | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

A consortium of not-for-profit organisations led by Bernardos Australia has won the ACT government's latest contract for out of home care services for children.


The continuity of care tender as part of the Step Up for Our Kids foster and kinship care strategy was announced by Children and Young People's Minister Mick Gentleman on Tuesday, bringing together Barnardos, the Australian Childhood Foundation, OzChild, Premier Youth Works and Relationships Australia.

Mr Gentleman told the ACT Carers awards ceremony that the consortium would bring together all the service elements designed to support children and young people in care under the title of "ACT Together".


As part of the plans, foster carer transition arrangements are being developed for changes to come into force from July 2016. The ACT Together services will start from January, as part of $16 million in additional funding for the strategy which will see non-profit agencies take over some government co-ordination of children living in care. 




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Childcare data comes of age

Childcare data comes of age | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

Emerging trends in the quality of early childhood education and care services have been identified in a new National Quality Framework (NQF) Snapshot report.Chair of the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), Rachel Hunter said a significant increase in assessed and rated services meant it was now possible to begin breaking the data down.


“For the first time this snapshot report includes the distribution of ratings by specific service type, previously captured under centre-based services, as well as a broad profile of the sector by provider management type,” Ms Hunter said.


“Overall, centre-based services, which include preschool/kindergarten, long day care and outside school hours care services, account for 93 per cent of all approved education and care services operating across Australia.”

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New funding offer as kindy row drags on

New funding offer as kindy row drags on | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

A six-month standoff between the states and Commonwealth over pre-school funding could be nearing resolution, with the Federal Government today “re-announcing” its original $840 million offer to subsidise an extra half-day’s kindergarten tuition. 

As InDaily reported last month, former Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne announced in May the Commonwealth would provide $840 million over two years to continue to top up pre-school programs across Australia, with the current arrangement expiring at the end of this term.


But no agreement was ever signed by the states, leaving parents and staff in the dark about whether children will be able to attend kindergarten for two days or two and a half next year. 

The stand-off has thrown planning for 2016 into chaos, with kindies across South Australia holding information sessions with families enrolled for next term, but still unable to guarantee 15 hours a week of tuition. 


New Education Minister Simon Birmingham, who was unaware of the standoff when InDaily contacted him last month, will today reconfirm an offer of $840 million “to ensure that all Australian children have access to 15 hours of high-quality pre-school education in the year before they start school”.

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The Best Childcare Centres in the Country Ranked by 9 News Perth

The Best Childcare Centres in the Country Ranked by 9 News Perth | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

9 News Perth reveals the area's best childcare centers ranked among the best in the country.

 

In the past, childcare centres delivered basic amenities to keep your children safe, happy and learning while you work. 

 

But today, more and more childcare facilities are offering learning environments that go beyond the basic. From fine dining to nature play to pet pigs, it's a whole new world for the best childcare centres in Perth.

Top4's insight:

Remember the time when you just went to your local childcare center? Nowadays it is possible to just search for the best ones. It might even be close to you.

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The Impact of Vaccination Law to Childcare Centres' Admissions Policies

The Impact of Vaccination Law to Childcare Centres' Admissions Policies | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

Queensland childcare centres will have the power to exclude children who are not fully immunized under legislation to be introduced by the government.

Top4's insight:

Are your children fully immunized or are you a no-vaccination advocate? 


If you prefer to not have your children vaccinated, your childcare options may be affected by the legislation to be introduced by the government that will allow childcare centers refuse admission of children who have not undergone full immunization.  

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Feminist childcare fight comes full circle as job-based policy fails children's needs

Feminist childcare fight comes full circle as job-based policy fails children's needs | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

In the 1970s, feminists pushed for children’s services that recognised the need for care for children whose mothers had jobs. In 2015, the situation has reversed. Feminists and others concerned about good social policies need to push the rights of children to funded children’s services, regardless of whether the child’s “primary” carer has job-related activities.


Oddly, this reversal has come from a Coalition government that used to defend the right of mothers to stay at home and not be pressured to find paid work. The government’s current proposals will deny the children of these women access to subsidies for any form of care services, except for 15 hours of “preschool” per week in the year before school.


This shift revives the perceived tensions between “stay at home” mothers and “working” mothers, but in reverse – by enshrining policies that are designed to push more primary carers into paid work.

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Childcare funding changes leave disadvantaged children with fewer hours of early education

Childcare funding changes leave disadvantaged children with fewer hours of early education | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

Hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged Australian children will be worse off from next week following government changes to childcare funding which mean they will receive fewer hours of early education. While the government’s Families Package of A$3.5 billion in new investment is expected to leave most working families better off, the cuts to the hours of early learning for low-income and disadvantaged households threaten to make it a backward step for our nation.


Under the current system, these children receive up to 24 hours of early childhood education and childcare (ECEC) a week, or about two days per week in a long day care centre, regardless of their parents' work status. The government is planning to cut this support by half.

These changes will shape the lives of the 900,000 families who currently use ECEC and the hundreds of thousands to follow in coming years.


It’s hard to overstate what’s at stake for children from low-income and disadvantaged families under the new legislation.

The pendulum seems to be swinging back towards a narrower view of investment in childcare to boost work participation, rather than a broader view of also supporting all children’s learning and development. The developmental gap between children from higher- and lower-income families is already very stark.

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‘No jab, no pay’ laws could send anti-vax parents underground in search for vaccine-free childcare

‘No jab, no pay’ laws could send anti-vax parents underground in search for vaccine-free childcare | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

There are fears the new “no jab, no pay” legislation will cause anti-vaccine parents to go underground and set up black market child care services.


New state and federal laws mean parents who refuse to vaccinate their children will lose childcare rebates and from next year, centres will be allowed to reject unvaccinated children.

The Courier Mail reports anti-vaccine parents are now taking to Facebook to advertise vaccine-free babysitting and family daycare.

One Brisbane family daycare provider advertised they would transition to a “vaccine-free environment”.



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Council welcomes childcare funding backflip

Council welcomes childcare funding backflip | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

Melton council has welcomed the federal government’s decision to reinstate funding for council-run occasional care and supported playgroups. Ongoing funding has been increased from $58,270 to $176,400 a year, to be used to hire extra staff.


The council operates three playgroups – Mum and Me for incarcerated mothers and their children at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre; Bubbles at Melton Central for children with special needs; and Square Pegs at Caroline Springs shopping centre, which is aimed at finding families who are not engaged in support services.

The extra funding will require the council to increase the number of playgroups from three to 10; integrate Smalltalk activities, which teach parents better ways of communicating with their children; and provide in-home support to eligible families.


The funding boost will also give more vulnerable families access to supported playgroups, a council report states.


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Parents who don't immunise to lose childcare benefits

Parents who don't immunise to lose childcare benefits | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

PARENTS who choose not to immunise their children will stop receiving childcare benefits, rebates and supplements under new laws passed in parliament on Monday.


7News reports the federal government's no-jab-no-play laws, which sailed through the Senate with the backing of Labor, the Greens and crossbench senators, will remove childcare benefits, rebates and the Family Tax Benefit A end-of-year supplement from parents who don't immunise their children.


The changes will start on January 1, 2016, with exemptions for medical reasons.


Greens leader Richard Di Natale attempted to move an amendment delaying the changes to January 1, 2018.

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New Aussie App Helps Parents Find Trusted, Reliable Babysitters

New Aussie App Helps Parents Find Trusted, Reliable Babysitters | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

Sittr, a mobile app service recently launched by Sydney based husband and wife team James and Samantha McKinnon, aims to make parent’s lives easier by simplifying the search for a trusted and reliable babysitter.


“We have three kids aged seven, four and two. In early 2014, we sold our home and said goodbye to Australia for twelve months to explore the world with our kids. Whilst overseas we were ordering a car or taxi service using an app and accessing reviews before booking accommodation, but finding childcare was still a real pain point. And that’s where Sittr was born," Samantha told The Huffington Post Australia.


Much like other service-outsourcing apps such as Uber, parents can search for a sitter by location and when they are ready to make a booking, enter the time, date and duration.

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Childcare industry fears families worse off under funding changes

Childcare industry fears families worse off under funding changes | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

Childcare providers are warning the most disadvantaged children could drop out of early education because of the Federal Government's planned funding changes. Industry and parents groups are stepping up pressure on the Government to make changes to the package that was unveiled in May. They are worried about a tougher activity test parents will have to meet before they qualify for subsidised child care.


Early Learning Association of Australia chief executive Shane Lucas said the Government was taking the wrong approach.

"We certainly think there could be many thousands of families that will be worse off under this package," Mr Lucas said.

"And we're very concerned about the notion of children being impacted because of effectively the actions or inactions of their parents. "I think one of our concerns all along with the Government's approach to this issue is that it sees early learning and care as fundamentally a workforce participation issue for parents as opposed to how we see it as a great benefit for children."


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Childcare industry set to surge 34.2% over five years as Australia’s birth rate rises

Childcare industry set to surge 34.2% over five years as Australia’s birth rate rises | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

Australia is set to experience a mini baby boom over the next five years, with industries such as childcare and health insurance set to surge as Australia’s birth rate rises by 6.4%, according to figures released by IBISWorld this week.

The report comes as the federal government allocated an additional $3.5 billion to reform Australia’s childcare system in this year’s budget, while announcing it will also cut paid parental leave for some parents.


According to the IBISWorld figures, Australia’s birth rate is set to increase by 6.4% over the five years to 2019-20 to reach 332,901 births annually, compared with 2.9% growth over the past five years.

The figures are good news for small businesses in the childcare services sector, which is set to see revenues grow by a massive 34.8%, from $9 billion per year in 2014-15 to $12 billion in 2019-20.

The figures include long day care, before and after-school care, and family day care, with children aged between three and four years comprising the largest demographic.

Top4's insight:
Parents nowadays are spending a part of their earnings just to pay a a good quality of childcare services.
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Suffering from Separation Anxiety? Advice from Early Childhood Australia

Suffering from Separation Anxiety? Advice from Early Childhood Australia | Childcare Services | Scoop.it

Separation anxiety is normal in early childhood and can occur when a child gets upset when separated from a parent or carer. This can happen when children are left with a new caregiver, or put to bed by themselves.


Having your child attend early-learning programs such as day care, pre-school or family day care can definitely enrich his or her development.


As a childcare solution, it's also a way for parents to obtain time to go to work or attend to other responsibilities, knowing that their child is in a safe learning environment.

 

Top4's insight:

One of the main challenges of putting our child into a daycare program is the separation anxiety that he or she can experience. So read up and learn the best practices on helping your child ease into a new environment. 

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