Sections

Services

Information

US United States

Childcare

Analysis and Comment (15)

Time to go back to work? Time to go back to work? Toddler via Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Why free childcare is not helping many mums back to work

Over the last 20 years, early childhood education and childcare for the under-fives has become a major policy priority in the UK. Get more mothers into work, it’s argued, and we can start to close the…
Nordic nations enjoy regulated working hours, substantial welfare provision and strong economies. Nordic nations enjoy regulated working hours, substantial welfare provision and strong economies. www.shutterstock.com

We can learn a lot about public policy from the Nordic nations

At the end of this month Australia’s Productivity Commission will issue the final report of its inquiry into Early Childhood Education and Care. The inquiry was limited from the outset by the requirement…
Playtime, Swedish style. Playtime, Swedish style. Jana Javornik

Why UK should follow Nordics’ lead on universal childcare

Childcare is likely to be a key battleground for the UK’s 2015 general election. The Labour party has committed to a universal quality childcare service. It sees it as a strategic political, social and…
The proportion of women in the Australian news media has grown, but in general men still rule the newsrooms. The proportion of women in the Australian news media has grown, but in general men still rule the newsrooms. EPA/Yoon S. Byun

Why men still run newsrooms, defying the influx of women

As I write this I can hear a clique of blokes guffawing at morning news conference. Not a woman at the table … We are marginalised and excluded by the blokes' club because admitting women would change…
The Productivity Commission report reflect the limits set by Tony Abbott when he announced terms of reference focused on economic benefit. The Productivity Commission report reflect the limits set by Tony Abbott when he announced terms of reference focused on economic benefit. AAP/Alan Porritt

PC logic: let the market solve childcare market failure

The Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Childcare and Early Childhood Learning shows the serious limitations of market economics for analysing social policy. The report’s 900-plus pages offer a collection…
Do you think your Mum and Dad made the right choice? Do you think your Mum and Dad made the right choice? John Stillwell/PA

What should parents look for when choosing a nursery?

Choosing a good quality nursery is one of the most important decisions any parent will make during the first years of their child’s life. In a recent report, UK school and childcare regulator Ofsted acknowledged…
My mum could use that extra cash. My mum could use that extra cash. Peter Macdiarmid/PA

New childcare accounts help those who already afford quality

The coalition has placed a series of new plans on the table with regard to childcare and early years education. Most eye-catching is the new “tax-free childcare” scheme: from September 2015, for every…
Too many two-year-olds. Too many two-year-olds. Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Very few schools are ready to take two-year-olds into class

Proposals to allow schools to start looking after two-year-olds go to the heart of a long-standing tension in education policy: is early childhood provision about childcare for working parents or is it…
What’s wrong with the policy picture? Private childcare operators' priorities are driven by profits, not social needs. What’s wrong with the policy picture? Private childcare operators' priorities are driven by profits, not social needs. AAP/Joe Castro

Failed market assumptions are undermining care for our children

Can the Productivity Commission review commissioned by the Abbott government recognise the possible failure of the market-model funding of many early childhood services? This rather broad term now covers…
Caring is part of everyday life; it taps into our vulnerabilities and allows us to turn possibilities into material outcomes. Caring is part of everyday life; it taps into our vulnerabilities and allows us to turn possibilities into material outcomes. Image from shutterstock.com

Election 2013 Issues: How we grow and care for each other

Welcome to the The Conversation’s Election 2013 State of the Nation essays. These articles by leading experts in their field provide an in-depth look at the key policy challenges affecting Australia as…
The vast majority of childcare workers are women. The vast majority of childcare workers are women. Childcare image from www.shutterstock.com

Childcare wage reforms stop short of real change

The federal government’s announcement this week on pay equity for the early childhood workforce is an important step for the childcare sector. But in the long term, it will provide little more than a stop-gap…
The coalition needs to think big on childcare if it’s going to fix twin problems of cost and quality. The coalition needs to think big on childcare if it’s going to fix twin problems of cost and quality. Child play image from www.shutterstock.com

Child’s play: Coalition childcare inquiry doesn’t go far enough

In announcing the terms of reference for a productivity commission inquiry into childcare, opposition leader Tony Abbott said “Australian families need a child care system that is not only affordable…
Many parents are finding themselves priced out of childcare services. Many parents are finding themselves priced out of childcare services. AAP

Childcare’s market model in dire need of reform

Just who carries the costs of childcare services has become a visible political issue in the last few weeks, as the federal government confronts its own ideological mess. Concerns over the decreasing affordability…
The productivity of parents should not be the main driver for childcare. The productivity of parents should not be the main driver for childcare. AAP

We’re hardly the nanny state when it comes to decent childcare

The Productivity Commission is an inappropriate adviser on how best to fund nannies - because many of the problems of the current child care funding model is a result of its market focus. Good services…

Research and News (2)