Thursday, September 29, 2011

Questions from mums & dads returning to work: Childcare

Q. What advice do you have for parents looking for childcare? I've heard it's extremely hard to "get in". How do you secure a place at the centre you want?

Visiting and talking to the carers will be your best chance of finding the perfect place for your child. If possible try to drop into the centre or Family Day care home outside of your appointment time so that you can see how things “really” work and try to visit at a couple of different times of the day. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, you’re entrusting these people with your baby.

There are more options out there than just day care centres. The most common types of care available in Australia are:

·         Private arrangements
·         Family day care
·         Centre based child care or long day care
·         Occasional care
·         Pre-school
·         Nannies, au-pairs, babysitters
·         In home care

Planning is the key to a successful placement and you should start this planning well in advance of you needing the care.

Here are a few points to consider when thinking about each option:

·         Do you want individual care for your baby?
·         Will the carer be able to meet my child’s individual needs?
·         Is cost a factor in your decision?
·         What skills does the carer possess? Eg. First ad certificate, qualifications in child care.
·         What sort of interactions will my child have with the carer?

Women are not filtering up: Business leaders

The Diversity Council of Australia (DCA) hosted its first annual diversity debate last week, with the topic, ‘Quotas: friend or foe of business?’ hotly debated by high profile business leaders.

At the end of the debate the room of industry heavyweights, which included representatives from business giants such as IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers, voted that quotas, (not just targets) for women on boards should be mandated by the federal government.
Advertising executive and lecturer, Jane Caro, said companies with a greater proportion of women on their executive and at board level perform better. Caro said while Australian women were amongst the best educated in the world, they ranked somewhere near 50th in the world for workforce participation.

'Mindless Bias' holds women in check

The report, commissioned by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, urges companies to look ''below the surface'' at ''irrational'' bias against women, arguing not only that they are excluded from leadership roles but are also ''held to account for being women''.

According to the government's latest census of women in leadership, last year females made up just 8.4 per cent of directors and 8 per cent of executive managers in ASX200 companies.

The report calls for companies to adopt a range of reforms, including making their workplaces more flexible and setting targets for gender diversity.

Read what Kate Ellis, Minister for Status of Women, says...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Paid Dad Leave from 1 January 2013

On 1 January 2013, the Paid Parental Leave scheme will be extended to give extra support to new parents with two weeks Dad and Partner Pay. 

A dedicated payment for dads under the Paid Parental Leave scheme will encourage fathers to take some time off after the birth of a child, and help ensure that paternity leave is seen as a normal part of work and family life.

The Government recognises that the involvement of fathers in children's lives has many positive benefits for children including improved social and emotional development.

Find out more...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2011 'Dream Employers' Revealed

CEO of Insync Surveys James Garriock said that theoretically employees should be the biggest advocates of the organisations they work for, because they can help win new customers and attract new talent – yet employers are wasting these opportunities. If organisations harness the word-of-mouth power of their passionately engaged employees, the bottom line impact can be potent.

The second annual survey canvassed the opinions of more than 7,000 Australians, and as the title suggests aims to uncover both specific organisations as well as areas which the workforce considers ‘dream’ working conditions.

The research showed that just 40% of all employees are satisfied with their job, 45% are planning to look for another role within the next 12 months and just one third (33%) were willing to recommend their employer.

Heading the list for the second time in a row was Google, followed by Self-employment, Virgin Group, Qantas and Apple. The desire for people to work for themselves appears to be increasingly strong, with many dreaming about the perks of saying goodbye to structured work environments.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How common is it for mums to feel guilt?

How common is it for mums to feel guilt?
This is one of the many questions we have been asked from putting your kids into childcare to asking colleagues to pick up the slack at work.
Here's how I would advise women to overcome this guilt.
Mothers guilt is the most common feeling experienced by mothers, especially those returning to work! Mothers guilt is a part of becoming a mum and is experienced by all mums at some stage. But do not fear. You are not alone. We meet a lot of mums who are anxious about returning to work and are unsure of how to go about selecting the right childcare for their child/ren.
We find with the right knowledge and support, working mums can make wise decisions and work out a plan that suits them and their family. With some ideas about how to make working flexibly work for them and their employer with the tools to negotiate with their employer, often mums can reduce the guilt associated with colleagues having to pick up the slack.
So, ask for help, share the load with other mums, friends and family and know that there will almost always be an imbalance and that's ok. We are not superhuman. Everyday is a new day and at times the demands of work and life (particularly parenting) will collide and one will take preference of the other and vice versa; that's life. It's ensuring overall you maintain a happy, healthy equilibrium and if not, isolate what's getting in the way and deal with it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cost of Childcare to rise, employees left holding the bag

We at mums@work thought this information on the latest childcare cost changes might be helpful to you.

The federal government has announced plans to cap childcare subsidies. The government has said families paying for 10 hours of childcare, four days a week will be hit by the cap. The cuts have reportedly been made in order to provide additional early education teachers in childcare centres, and the minister for childcare, Kate Ellis said the costs will only amount to an extra $8.67 a week by 2014-15, per child in full-time care.

“There are absolutely no cuts to childcare funding; in fact there has been a 72% increase in the amount of funds available to Australian parents to help them meet the cost of childcare,” Minister for Childcare, Kate Ellis said.