The Northern Territory news Sat 5 May 2018
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
SATURDAY MAY 5 2018 NEWS 03 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA THE number of children spending 50-plus hours a week in childcare is growing as parents work longer to try to make ends meet. The NT News can reveal 40,241 children used long daycare for 50 or more hours a week or more than 10 hours a day in the latest June 2017 quarter figures, up 17 per cent from 34,275 in the previous Kids stuck at childcare Parents working longer and harder: new figures March quarter. And fees for childcare are also continuing to grow, with a 3.6 per cent hourly fee growth for long day care from the June quarter 2016 and an average 2.7 per cent growth for all childcare services including before and after school care. However, the percentage growth of fees has dramatically come down since 2009 when it was as high as 12.9 per cent. The Federal Governments Early Childcare in Summary report shows proportionally 5.9 per cent of all children in long day care are spending 50 or more hours per week at the centre. This compares with 4.9 per cent in the March quarter. A further 12.7 per cent were spending 40-50 hours in care a week and 23.1 per cent were spending 30-40 hours a week according to the figures. In June 2016, there were 123,489 children in long day care for more than 40 hours a week, compared with the June 2017 data showing 126,863 children in care for 40-plus hours, a 2.7 per cent increase. And the pace of change between the quarters has accelerated with a 10 per cent increase in the number of children spending 50 hours a week in care between March and June in 2016 compared with a 17 per cent increase in 2017. Parents are paying on average $9.20 an hour for long day care, $8.80 an hour for family day care and in-home care, $10.25 an hour for occasional care and $7.20 an hour for outside school hours care. Education Minister Simon Birmingham said childcare fee growth was at its lowest level in a decade. After a decade of annual average fee increases of 6.7 per cent and spikes of 14.6 per cent under Labor, we know the pain families have been feeling, Senator Birmingham said. LANAI SCARR Darwin green thumbs Susan Burns and Russell Smith are making the most of World Naked Gardening Day Picture: JUSTIN KENNEDY Get back to nature with nude prune ARE you sick of restrictive clothes as you tend to your garden? Fed up with pants as you prune the roses? Well, worry no more today is World Naked Gardening Day and its a beautiful excuse to strip down and tend to the plants as nature intended. Fannie Bays Russell Smith and Susan Burns love any excuse to ditch their clothes. Unfortunately our garden isnt too private and we have housemates that might not be stoked with us rummaging about in the nude, Mr Smith said. Thankfully on World Naked Gardening Day we have an excuse. I dont know how or why, but ever since gardening naked, the passionfruit has been taking off. Charles Darwin University horticulture team leader Tania Paul warned anyone shedding their kit today to stick to watering and some light pruning. The dry season may be on its way, but the sun can still burn you and melioidosis may still be present in the soil; gardeners should not expose themselves to unnecessary risks, Ms Paul said. Also, definitely no chainsawing or using pesticides in the nude. LAUREN ROBERTS TO D A Y F R O M 5 PM TI CK ET S FR O M D TI X .C O M .A U
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