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ANA gets a mention - 

"Childcare Minister Kate Ellis last week earmarked an expansion of family daycare as a solution to flexibility problems raised by parents, amid calls from the Australian Nanny Association for the childcare rebate to be extended to their members." 

From: The Weekend Australian. July 21, 2012 


THE newly incorporated Australian Nanny Association will meet Childcare Minister Kate Ellis's advisers next month to push its case for taxpayer subsidies and warn the government that the family daycare model will not solve the nation's childcare woes.

The news comes after Ms Ellis this week said expanding family daycare would solve the flexibility problems raised by parents.

ANA co-president Tracey McDermott told The Weekend Australian expecting the stretched home-based system to solve the problem was not the answer.

"There needs to be a co-ordinated team approach from the government and all areas of the childcare sector to provide families with the care they need," she said.

"I'm sure people would agree that taking a child out of bed at 10pm to drop them off at a family daycare home to spend the night before going to work at 11pm would not be ideal for any shiftworker or child."

The battle over childcare intensified yesterday with Ms Ellis accusing the Coalition of trying to build "baby farms" and reduce the quality of childcare for kids in the early years of their development, declaring she was "disgusted" by Tony Abbott's plan to reconsider parts of Labor's national reforms.

The Australian exclusively reported that, if elected, an incoming Coalition government would meet state and territory childcare ministers, as well as representatives of the sector, to reduce the red tape "driving up the cost of care".

"Is the Coalition's vision for Australian childcare really to have children packed into rooms with less staff, low-qualified workers, longer hours, cheaper, with dirtier conditions?" Ms Ellis asked. "Many parents may actually see this more resembling baby farms than critical early childhood services."

The Coalition will convene an emergency meeting of childcare ministers to plan a delay of elements of Labor reforms.

Peak children's body Early Childhood Australia expressed concern about Coalition spokeswoman Sussan Ley's position.

"We need to see bipartisan support for improving the quality of early childhood education and care for the sake of the 1.5 million Australian children in these services," chief executive Samantha Page said yesterday. She said it was "certainly true" there were some challenges in the transition to enhanced quality standards but these were not "insurmountable".

Three representatives of the ANA, including Ms McDermott, will meet with Ms Ellis's advisers next month to discuss these issues.

They are also due to meet with the family daycare sector next month to discuss the issue of flexible care and how they can work together towards a solution for Australian families.

"The government needs to get past the misconception that nannies are only for the rich, because that is not the case, and include them in Australia's childcare options for families," Ms McDermott said. "New Zealand's government-funded childcare options include nannies; there is no reason why Australia cannot do the same."

She said families who did not fit into the current model were disadvantaged by the fact that they could not use or get access to the only funded options available.

Extending the Child Care Rebate to nannies would give families better access to more flexible options and relieve the pressures that came with not fitting into the current funded model, she said.


From: The Sunday Age, August 5, 2012.


UP TO 20 per cent of nannies are being paid cash in hand, exposing them and their employers to legal risks, a new lobby group warns.

The Australian Nanny Association was incorporated last month to push for increased regulation and oversight of the industry. A key goal is for the 50 per cent childcare rebate available to families who use childcare centres to be paid to parents who choose in-home care.

Spokeswoman Annemarie Sansom said members of the association estimated up to 30,000 nannies were working in Australian homes.

''We think about 15 and up to 20 per cent are working without declaring it and not paying tax,'' said Ms Sansom, owner of the Night Nannies agency.

''People are finding nannies through websites and not realising the implications of just paying cash and not declaring it.''

Risks for nannies and employers operating in the cash economy included issues related to inadequate training, workplace injury and a lack of liability insurance. Ms Sansom said while nannies had the benefit of being paid tax free, they did not earn superannuation or holiday pay.

Anecdotally, parents have told The Sunday Age that it is easier and cheaper to pay nannies cash in hand than via an agency that takes a cut.

''It is a total black market. When [my children] were younger, I spent 30K-plus a year cash, post tax to stay in the workforce. Private school fees are easy by comparison,'' one mother said.

An Australian Taxation Office spokesman said people can earn up to $18,200 before they are required to declare the income and pay tax.

The debate over rebates for nannies is becoming increasingly political, with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott pledging that a Coalition government would, early in its first term, ask the Productivity Commission to model the cost of extending the childcare rebate to in-home care, such as nannies. Britain, New Zealand, Canada and the United States all subsidise parents to employ nannies. But industry observer Lora Brawley said the black market also played a strong role in the industry in the US. She said of 2 million US nannies just 10 per cent paid tax.

Mr Abbott and Coalition spokeswoman on childcare Sussan Ley recently met representatives of the Nanny Association. It has requested a meeting with Early Childhood and Childcare Minister Kate Ellis. Ms Ellis has argued that extending the rebate would drain $2 billion from funds allocated to childcare and even then the cost of a nanny would remain unaffordable for most families.

Ms Sansom argues that paying the rebate to families who use nannies would be a hefty incentive to encourage them to only use those who paid tax and adhered to workplace laws. 


From: The Australian, August 10, 2012
THE Australian Nanny Association says it is relieved to finally be acknowledged as a legitimate form of childcare and wants to join the government-funded in-home care program.

ANA co-president Tracey McDermott said the organisation was keen to "work towards putting in place minimum national standards and guidelines for nannies and agencies".

"We feel that any formal regulation of the nanny industry still needs to come under the existing in-home care funded scheme, as without the assistance of the government, it will make any childcare unaffordable for families," she said.

"It would create more backyard care as families who cannot afford it will then turn to unqualified, inexperienced babysitters."

Childcare Minister Kate Ellis yesterday declared "traditional centre-based care" was not the answer for every family and that parents needed more alternatives. Her remarks followed yesterday's report in The Australian that Labor had opened the door to taxpayer-funded nannies, but wanted the sector to be fully regulated.

"I think it is a very, very long road to regulate nannies, but I think it is a road that we should be encouraging them to tread down," Ms Ellis said.

"I believe no matter what form of care an Australian parent chooses to use, they should have confidence that that care has minimum standards, is regulated and has pretty basic features like police checks, which are a requirement that is currently not the case."

The government yesterday announced the recipients of a 17 per cent increase in the number of in-home care and occasional care places across Australia.

But the ANA and the National In-home Childcare Association said this was not enough.

The government also announced the allocation of the first 300 centre-based occasional care places.

NICA president David Wilson said the present system should be extended to include "flexibility places" for shift workers.

Research showed that parents were reluctant to remove a "sleeping child in the middle of the night to drop the child into the local childcare centre". "In almost all circumstances, the right and proper place for a child of tender years at night is at home in their own bed in the comfort and security of their own house," Mr Wilson said.