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Katy and childcare

By emd 12 February 2007 60

Canberra Times has this extraordinary piece of “isn’t she top stuff?” about Katy Gallagher.

Apparently, her first hand experience of the difficulty of combining work and child care means she’ll do a better job with her portfolio.

Except that the problems affecting child care are pretty much outside her realm of influence.

Child care is hard to get because:
a) staff get paid bugger all, therefore it’s hard to attract and retain them
b) limited Commonwealth Government childcare benefit subsidised places mean that demand generally outstrips supply. Without CCB, it’s not possible to run a private child care centre in Canberra, because there are so few people who can afford child care without CCB.
c) The increasing corporatisation of child care centres is worrying some parents. A significant number of families prefer not to use child care centres that are run for profit, after having had bad experiences with them in the past. This is not to say that profit is evil, just that it’s not what everyone wants for their child’s care. And because child care centres are often in high-rent areas close to work, with expensive staff and equipment, it’s hard to get the funding required to set up more community child care centres.

How is a local MLA supposed to do something about this? It’s just not going to happen… mind you, if John Howard had kids under 5 and a wife in paid work, things might be improved…

[ED – interesting this soft focus stuff on Katy immediately followed up her faux pas on water negotiations]

What’s Your opinion?


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Katy and childcare
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nyssa76 5:14 pm 15 Feb 07

simbo, you know the old saying “it takes one to know one” and bonfire would know 🙂

simbo 11:39 pm 14 Feb 07

Since she’s a girl, can she be a dickhead?

I’d better stop now, as considering alternate anatomical names might get me in trouble…

bonfire 7:44 pm 14 Feb 07

i believe outsourcing child raising to a third party is wrong.

having teh child babysat for a few hours every now and then is ok.

but you knew that already you were just being a dickhead.

i forgive you.

nyssa76 6:22 pm 14 Feb 07

bonfire, it’s you who believes a “third party” watching your child is bad.

You need to stipulate more clearly what you actually mean as you’ve lost the plot entirely.

You don’t have to ban children from your house to have an intelligent conversation with their parents. How archaic do you need to be?

Just do us all a favour and don’t breed.

bonfire 9:50 am 14 Feb 07

oh nyssa you got me, you leap rudd like onto a glaring contradiction.

i walked straight into that one.

oh yeah – i’ll have to reassess all my core values now.

chucking junior into childcare whil i work all day with the lads, its identical to having the kid minded for a few hours of an evening while adults engage in intelligent discourse.

softhead

nyssa76 7:06 pm 13 Feb 07

simbo, do you know how much it actually costs to get your childcare centre approved by FACS?

Is the Govt going to assist? Because it is a hell of a lot of money, not to mention a possible loss of income whilst making those changes to the new property.

It doesn’t happen overnight and FACS take forever to accredit a new place.

simbo 6:19 pm 13 Feb 07

Nyssa, if this government has given you advice that they may close you, and you’re standing between them and a big pile of cash in the form of flogging off the property, you’d be a fool to sit around waiting for them to make a definitive announcement.

nyssa76 5:57 pm 13 Feb 07

Hang on bonfire, you just said your friends need to “arrange for a babysitter” if they “expect” an invitation to ‘bonfire palace? Did you not?

Wasn’t it in an earlier post that you said:

yes, i must be a low form of life to suggest a mothers love is superior to outsourcing care to a third party.

Ergo you’re contradicting yourself.

bonfire 5:45 pm 13 Feb 07

sadly, im ‘king of the kids’.

uncle bonfire is a crowd favourite.

and as much as i cringe when one of their little saliva encrusted hands reaches for me, their parents goo and gah and think this will somehow soften my disdain.

the fact that i talk to them like people and dont babytalk children i think has something to do with it. kids seem to appreciate being treated as people, not gibbering idiots or ‘poor baby’.

but generally once people have children i no longer extend dinner invites if they insist on bringing them along, instead of arranging for a babysitter.

a child once smeared nutella on a donald friend drawing. never again.

Why don’t you set up shop at Bonfire’s house?

nyssa76 4:40 pm 13 Feb 07

potential closing

simto, you’re right there. It’s possible it may close and then it’s possible it may stay where it is.

Until the Govt gives them a definitive answer they shouldn’t be wasting their time looking elsewhere. A simple decision should be made and adequate time allowed to find an alternative site. What if the owners find a new site, set it all up (based on a possible closure) and then find that they are ok at the current site and cannot break the lease?

When will this Govt wake up to themselves?

Parents Need Teddys 1:31 pm 13 Feb 07

Just to let you all know… there have been contingency plans, like trying to fins alternative solutions, suggesting them, and then being told that it’s not going to happen. We have looked at other pieces of land, buildings, sites – Melrose was one of them! All in the same area as we are in – cos that is where the need is – and everytime, the Government has said that it can’t be done…

The owner wasn’t aware there was any problem with the leasing arrangements and has always had a good relationship with its landlord – the ACT Government. So when he was verbally told by Minister Hargreaves that a lease renewal was on the way – yes he believed him!

And it was actually 18 months ago, not a year!

emd 12:16 pm 13 Feb 07

schmerica: with regard to the cost of childcare for part time workers, this is how it usually goes…

Child care centres charge $65 per day (or more).
Additional costs for working parents may include parking fees, nappies and food (not all child care centres provide this, and there are cheaper options for stay-home parents), and “convenience” things like buying lunch or new clothes or more take-away dinners (because two working parents means time to DIY is limited).
Many women earn less than their male partner because of the industry in which they work, or because their career stalled while they were on mat leave.
Hence, if you earn less than $150 per day after tax, you’re unlikely to find it financially viable to put two kids in childcare unless you can also get CCB.

And here we have the reason CCB helps keep women in work (and thereby improves national productivity); as well as one of the many reasons that women are not having as many babies as they could.

Alternatively, we could scrap CCB and make everyone pay full cost for child care. But then we’d need more Whingeing Poms (as per the story on school fees for overseas students) to fill the productivity gap by effectively taking women with children out of the workforce. Not to mention the amount of civil unrest and further drop in fertility rate if women realise they really DO have to choose between children and career.

I’m having flashbacks to reading Margaret Atwood’s “The Edible Woman”.

Maelinar 10:53 am 13 Feb 07

Is now a good time for me to mention that it’s a hard, hard world ?

Business acumen does not start, nor does it finish, with complaining about the situation in which you choose to make money.

My advice; leave the industry, and somebody smarter and better than you will come along and sieze the opportunity your vacancy has created.

simto 9:33 am 13 Feb 07

Let me get the flow of things right – please correct me if I’m wrong…

Up until about a year ago (when the “terrorist threat” excuse came to light), Teddy Bears were under the impression that they’d have a continuous lease for as long as they wanted.

That changed, and they were advised that their lease was unlikely to be renewed beyond the next year.

Do they do what most businesses do when their lease is not renewed, for whatever reason, and make a contingency plan, using the year or so to forward plan?

Nope, they shove all their eggs into assuming that just complaining about it will magically solve everything and they’ll get their land back.

Yes, it sucks that you’re losing your lease. But businesses of all kinds lose their leases for all kinds of reasons at any time. Suck it up, and find an alternate location. Yes, it’ll be expensive and awkward. But that’s what you’re in business for.

And if there’s a strong need for the business in a particular area, then finding the money for an alternate location shouldn’t be all that hard. Again, I’d repeat, if you’ve got a year to forward plan, sticking to the “if we put our hands over our ears and say not listening enough, things won’t change” process seems exceptionally dim.

Parents Need Teddys 9:00 am 13 Feb 07

Yes Simto,

We have known about the closure for some time now. For the centre to move to Souther Tuggs it isn’t financially viable as I said before more parents want to have their children closer to their workplace, so you see centres in Conder and Gordon who are struggling to stay financially afloat – hell even Katy was trying to have her baby in a centre in civic!!! CLOSE TO WORK!!

Teddy Bears were also told the entire time by the Government that when it came time for the lease renewal, they would simply be sent a letter in the mail to sign…. the ‘terrorist threat’ was the first sign of problems!

simto 7:59 am 13 Feb 07

Well, they’ve known about the potential closing for considerably longer than a month, nyssa. So a bit of contingency planning might not have gone astray…

nyssa76 11:53 pm 12 Feb 07

simbo – you have to find a place first, have it checked for OH&S as well as child protection.

It takes time and money. I’m sure as all hell it can’t be done in a month. FACS doesn’t work that fast, try a snail’s pace.

simbo 9:13 pm 12 Feb 07

Hang on, so the Teddy bears operators are that freaking awesome that you’d drive to Tuggernong for them, yet they’re not organised enough to open up another centre anywhere else for their enthusiastic clientele?

Something doesn’t add up there, PNT…

jellen 8:43 pm 12 Feb 07

Yes Thumper. Not only does Bonfire not have kids, I’m betting my bottom dollar that he is sitting on a fricking baby boomer bonanza of a house. If he wants anyone to pay the ridiculous price that he will one day ask for that house he better damn well be subsidising the child care for the two incomes necessary to buy it. What goes around comes around B.

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