Sunday Territorian 20 Jul 2014
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SUNDAY JULY 20 2014 NEWS 11 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA Plan to pay for nannies PARENTS will secure taxpayer-funded nannies at home under a government proposal to extend subsidies to qualified childcare workers for low- and middle-income families. Childcare Minister Sussan Ley has backed more choice for care in the family home, but only if the childcare workers meet quality standards. Arguing that care in the family home should not simply be an option for the rich, Ms Ley said there was a way forward to offer taxpayer subsidies for every child within the current $6 billion-a-year child care budget. This is what families need. And, yes, there should be choice, Ms Ley said. If its a subsidised, in-home care option it has to be regulated. But it does make sense for families to secure subsidies for formal and I stress formal in-home care. You cant say its fair, for a family with three children under the age of five, who cant afford to work, who cant send all three to childcare theres got to be a better way. Currently, the childcare re bate and childcare benefit is only available for long day care or approved family day care providers. The Productivity Commission will hand down a draft report into childcare on Tuesday that will call for childcare payments to be simplified and available to accredited carers in the family home. But the sticking point is that the overall cost of the childcare budget must not rise, suggesting means-testing and caps on funding are an option. Ms Ley confirmed she wanted to de velop a major reform package ahead of the 2015 Budget. We need to work out what the government can afford. We need to recognise that we cant do everything in the current fiscal environment, she said. I am not going to pre-empt what the Productivity Commission might say, but we are not going through this process to stick to the same rules. Ms Ley also suggested a base daily cost for childcare in Australia needed to be established. Parents who wanted to pay for more expensive care with better staff ratios or facilities would then be asked to contribute more. We also need to look at the real cost of childcare. Quite rightly there are some providers that offer a premium product, but we need to find what the real cost is, she said. Ms Ley stressed that any nannies or in-home childcare workers would have to be accredited under childcare quality standards if they were to secure government rebates. That would rule out an idea raised by the Audit Commission report, to extend taxpayer subsidies to grandparents caring for children. One option is to allow families to share a nanny in the home a practice many working parents already use without taxpayer subsidies. One of the features of the New Zealand model is the care can happen in one home and be more than one family people make those sort of informal arrangements now, Ms Ley said. You could have a hybrid, in-home, family day care model. But any in-home care would have to be regulated. Government subsidies for low-income families WHAT else would you expect from the Fun Bus but lots and lots of fun? Fun was the word on everyones lips as the City of Darwins Fun Bus celebrated its 25th anniversary with a community event at Mindil Beach yesterday. Giggles were heard all around among families and children of all ages with swing dancing, a photo booth, a movie, plus painting and games to keep all entertained. More than a few youngsters had a wow of a time getting paint on themselves as much as their works of art. The Fun Bus provides lots of free entertainment for children from 9.30am-11.30am throughout Darwin for most of the year. It offers youngsters and families an opportunity to engage with others. It also provides a friendly environment for kids to learn social skills and meet new people while having fun. For more information visit http://www.darwin.nt.gov.au/Dante and Ciara Endacott had a great time with dad Damien as the Fun Bus celebrated its 25th birthday at Mindil Beach Picture: HELEN ORR LNP cops by-election hammering QUEENSLAND Liberal National Party candidate Bob Andersen last night conceded defeat in the Stafford by-election after a massive swing against his party. With almost 80 per cent of the vote counted, the LNP has suffered an 18 per cent swing against it in the north Brisbane seat. Labor candidate Anthony Lynham secured more than 50 per cent of the primary vote, compared with 33 per cent for Dr Andersen. Mr Andersen said he rang a gracious Dr Lynham to con gratulate him on his campaign. Theres no gilding the lily we have had a big swing against us tonight, he told LNP supporters at a gathering at Stafford. The seat was vacated by disgruntled former LNP member Chris Davis in May. A MAJOR shopping study has unveiled the nations top 50 grocery buys and some of the results may surprise you. Fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and bread, mince and sandwich fillers are the staples that dominate our baskets and trolleys. Nielsen research tracked the most frequent purchases for 10,000 households across all supermarkets over the past year. Shoppers go bananas for bananas, with the tropical fruit topping the list. We collectively wolf down about five million bananas every day, according to the Australian Banana Growers Council. Grocery giants Woolies and Coles sell a whopping 230 million kilos combined annually. By SAMANTHA MAIDEN Hendra virus strikes again A CENTRAL Queensland property has been quarantined after a horse died from the Hendra virus. The horse was found dead at the property near Gladstone on Thursday. It had been sick for several days. Chief veterinary officer Allison Crook said the animal had tested positive for the Hendra virus, making it the third case of the virus in Queensland this year. Authorities are assessing whether other horses need to be tested. Queensland Health staff are checking on anyone who came into contact with the infected animal, but no one is believed to be at serious risk. Kids hop on board Fun Bus for party People go bananas at supermarket 69 BOULTER ROAD, BERRIMAH (OFF AMY JOHNSON AVE) EDEN GARDENS ESTATE OPEN TODAY -11.00-1.00PM Residential multi duplex development built by Halikos Centrally located mins to Darwin, Palmerston & Casuarina Spacious 140m/ 3 bed 2 bath Architecturally designed for tropical living Priced perfectly for 1st home buyers, investors & those downsizing Due to be completed in July 2014 HALIKOSbuiltby displayhome NOW OPEN KIM FARRAR 0409 090 591
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