Child Care Changes Leaving Many Vulnerable Exposed

While changes to the child care rebate scheme may have been done with best intentions, many families are still feeling the sting of no longer being eligible for help where they most need it, looking after their sick little ones.

Since the change in policy dozens of families have subsequently lost their access to in-home help or now find themselves in the position where they have to pay a significant gap fee for the first time.

As the effects of the new rebate scheme continue to be felt it is imperative that all parties, from families to government personnel, to be involved in open communication.

We as a society, as a nation and our governing bodies, must be alert to the most vulnerable, so as to secure help and support for those that need it most.

 

Changes

 

Alterations to how the child care policy works has meant that there has been a reduction in the in-home subsidy allotment.

This measure has seen many providers no longer provide the service due to what they describe as their hand being forced and parents being unable to meet payments.

 

The Most Vulnerable

 

Of the families that have been utilising in-home care, most have had children with disabilities whose cases demand additional care than what is provided under the national disability insurance scheme (NDIS).

Incredibly challenging situations faced by families have been parents suffering severe physical or mental health issues and children referred to providers by child protection services and similar agencies.

These circumstances have not been simple, easy managed or falling within attempts to rort the system.

Many of these cases have seen mums, dads and children struggling to cope with severe challenge of disease, illness, whether physical or mental.

 

Consequences

 

The new system has arguably ushered some of Australia’s most vulnerable families into significantly tricky areas.

As many have lost their in-home care or face sizable gap fees, the support they had been eligible for, which fully covered their needs has left many children in unsafe situations and families exposed.

 

Ministers Speaking Up

 

There are Ministers that are weighing into the issue of in-home care subsidies.

The Greens education spokeswoman, Mehreen Faruqi encourages the government to, “step in and fix this problem before these vulnerable families are pushed to the brink”.

“These stories are heartbreaking,” she said. “Families and children in need are suffering because the government didn’t think through their decisions.”

For mums struggling with severe postpartum depression, children with complex medical needs, for families without support and community in a new country, for single parents, these are are our society’s acutely vulnerable.

We all know that the formative years of a child’s life is vital in setting them up for a healthy and happy life.

Psychologists, medical experts and us as parents know this, that’s why it is vital that we keep up the dialogue of the rights of the child and advocating for resources and help for those that need it most.

How worried should I be about child proofing my home?

Being a parent in this modern age can be really confusing. We are surrounded on all sides by advice and suggestions on how to parent and how to do it well.

From what vitamins to take in our third trimesters to how many hours a dad must spend bottle feeding, there’s a lot to digest.

And when it comes to the safety of our children, one of the biggest areas that we have to tackle is child proofing our homes.

How worried should we be? How thorough do we have to be? Should kids be allowed to get hurt and figure out how to make good decisions themselves?

The role of protective parenting and the freedom to get hurt and learn are areas discussed by child experts and parents, both of which we can learn from.

 

What do child experts have to say about how much we need to worry?

 

When it comes to our children getting hurt and how we as parents need to worry, to prevent and respond to these situations, the general consensus is balance.

While there have been waves of parents calling for hypervigilance, often known as helicopter parenting or the ‘freerange’ movement, at the end of the day experts call for balance.

While helicopter parenting has been shown to have detrimental effects of child development later in life, psychologists say acting too aloof may have just as many negative consequences.

Psychologists say that balance is needed. While experts from every sector say that child proofing your home is a good idea, parents can only ever do their best and it is likely that our children will still have ‘ouchy’ accidents.

Child proofing is about preventing the opportunity for anything serious to happen so that as a family, everyone can grow, develop and thrive without fear.

It is a good idea to go through your house and figure out the areas that are ‘accidents waiting to happen’ yet putting foam on every hard edge may prevent children from learning and developing an awareness of their surroundings themselves.

 

What do hospitals have to say?

 

Golisano Children’s Hospital in NY has been looking after children for decades and they have created a great starting point for parents that are looking to child proof their home.

 

Get Into Your Child’s Head

 

The experts at Golisano advise parents to think like their children. Get down on your hands and knees and figure out your home from their perspective.

What would you be able to get into? What do you think they would like to pull down and have a chomp on?

In The Kitchen

 

It’s a great idea to never allow your child to roam about the kitchen unsupervised. Of course you don’t have to be in there with them but perhaps sitting close by with the ability to look up and check on them from time to time.

The team at Golisano also advise to:

  • Turn all pot/pan handles inward on the stove.
  • Secure oven door with an appliance latch.
  • Install knob covers over stove knobs.

In the Bathroom

 

From sore fingers caught in the toilet lid to slipping on wet water there are some things that you can do to make the bathroom a safer place.

  • “Never leave your child unsupervised in the tub.
  • Place a rubber, non-skid bathmat in the tub.
  • Secure the toilet lid with a toilet latch.”

The House At Large

 

It can seem a daunting task to try and create a safe place in your home from little tyrants that seem to be able to get into everything!

Calisano suggest the following approaches to help with the accident prevention in the home.

  • “Cover all unused electrical outlets with plastic covers.
  • Keep all appliance and lamp cords hidden and in good repair.
  • Secure all unstable or top-heavy furniture to the wall (i.e., dressers, bookshelves, etc.).
  • Use doorstops and door holders to keep children from pinching their fingers.
  • Install a fireplace grill and keep it in place while fireplace is in use.
  • Keep all cleaning supplies, medication, and other chemicals out of the reach of children and stored in locked cabinets.”

Additionally, if you have a flat screen tv that isn’t mounted, make sure that it is extremely secure in it’s base and unlikely to tip over, even when pushed by tiny hands.

At the end of the day it is likely that your little one will still stub their toe on a door frame or decide to eat soap while in the bathtub.

As parents all we can do is try our best to create as safe a place as possible.

While knowing that there will come a time where we have to explain that soap isn’t for eating and running like a crazy chicken through the house will have consequences.

And of course always being ready for a feel better cuddle.

A Father Shows Unconditional Love For His Special Needs Daughter

It can be a difficult world, this one we live in. Many of us have been in the horrible position where we have had to comfort our precious little ones after a bad day at school. From unkind remarks and general nastiness, to even worse cases of bullying, both children and adults have the capacity to be unkind one to the one hand and to feel hurt on the other. Growing up and just going about life can be particularly difficult for those with special needs.

We know from our time at school that one of the worst accusations that can be hurled our way is that we are ‘different’, that we don’t fit in, and that we won’t be included. The deep pain, confusion and hurt from these words and experiences can be felt years later. The pain of exclusion, either from human efforts or the inability for people to operate in a certain context is a circumstance that most of us would wish to prevent. One man put his efforts, his time, his money and his heart into that effort. Gordon Hartman built not just one theme park but two for his daughter and anyone else in the world who has special needs.

Gordon had consistently seen and experienced over the decades, as he raised his daughter Morgan, that she wasn’t able to enjoy and be included in many of the theme parks that other kids her age were going to and loving. The pain and frustration at seeing his daughter unable to have fun as a kid, to enjoy the activities that millions of kids from around the world were doing set him thinking. How could he help his daughter? How could he use his skills and resources to make a safe place where she and kids with her needs could be fully kids? What would that look like? Well, in 2010 after years and years of work, that vision became a reality in Morgan’s Wonderland.

In a spectacular show of love, dedication and priorities, Gordon Hartman sold his construction business to make Morgan’s Wonderland a reality. He gathered a team together, worked incredibly hard and you only need to watch a few seconds of the video to realise that his passion to see inclusion has brought and will continue to bring inexplicable joy to countless children and their parents.

A world of inclusivity, where ‘difference’ is celebrated and incorporated into how our environments of school, business, theme parks, homes and restaurants are made and operated, what a world would that be? It would likely yield for places that build people up and set them up to achieve in their beautiful and unique way.

Thousands Of Childcare Staff Set To Walk Off The Job, Another Display Of A Fractured System

Thousands of childcare workers are set to walk out of their centres at lunchtime today, protesting over what they say are despicably low wages.

Hundreds of centres are set to close around lunchtime today as the industry’s biggest national strike action is set to take place. Around 7,000 workers are set to leave their centres and embark on a protest march for better pay and improved working conditions.

United Voice, the childcare industry’s union said in a statement that the actions of childcare workers today are political, the rallies are to send a message straight to government. The political rallies across the country today are seeking to send a strong message to policy makers, they need to address the industry’s current wage crisis. For too long they say it has been ignored, they will keep marching until their concerns are acknowledged and addressed.

Helen Gibbons, United Voice’s assistant national secretary, weighed in on the rallies and walk out slated for today, saying, ““Australia’s educators must have qualifications, yet they earn as little as $22 an hour and are some of the lowest paid professionals in the country. Time is up on these appalling wages,”

“Between now and election day there will be 100,000 educators talking to millions of Australian parents about how this government has failed educators on equal pay.”

Serious words from an industry that has been reeling from long waiting lists, rising childcare costs and a new subsidy program.

Arguably changes need to be made in the childcare and long day care sectors. Additional options for child-care may be an avenue that the government needs to pursue as it navigates the next stages in this call for change.

The strike action is predicted to affect around 40,000 parents that have been advised to either pick their children up from the centre early or make alternative arrangements.

The actions and protest that are coming today mark the fourth wave of protests that have been enacted in just over 18 months, a clear sign of an industry that needs significant examination, care and policy adjustment.

Looking for affordable childminding options?

[vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” bg_color=”#ffffff” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”1″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”10/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” delay=”100″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535942344985{padding-top: 4% !important;padding-right: 4% !important;padding-bottom: 4% !important;padding-left: 4% !important;}”]We’ve all been there. With your return to work deadline looming, the fear and anxiety, waiting to hear back if your kid has a spot or trawling the interwebs to see if anywhere, just anywhere close would be able to take your child. Sleeping at night and functioning is all but a write-off. It really shouldn’t be this hard. We live in a nation that has such a great quality of life, it is not okay that when it comes to affordable and accessible child care, Australia seems to have gone around the bend, over the cliff and is currently somewhere middair.

We are looking for parents to join us in finding a solution to the affordable childcare quest. To do this we are running a trial program for in-home care to address 3 major research areas:

  1. Affordability of childcare
  2. Effectiveness of at home care
  3. Sharing the burden of care of children

Starting soon we will be running our cohort trial program and we are looking for participants who are:

A small family with 1-2 preschool aged children between 18 months to 4 year old.

Are actively looking for or have child care options at present.

Have two (or more) friends with families in the same position.

Are willing to participate in a trial for 3 weeks at a time convenient to you.

What happens in the trial?

After you have been approved you would be guided through each step by our research support team You will be connected to like minded parents in your local area to form a “Nest”.

THE TRIAL

Once the schedule has been established you and the other “Nest” parents can follow the schedule. The research support team will supply educational models and activities to do with the children.

WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK

Through the whole process we welcome your feedback. Let us know what works and what doesn’t. Let us know what you like and what you don’t.

Don’t hold back on telling us anything! Let us know what you want and any tweaks that you would like to see happen and we will do our best to incorporate your feedback into the app.

This trial process is an opportunity for all of us to collaborate and create a viable, safe and sustainable approach to childminding that works for everyone.

Overall we would love you to be involved in a trial that would be the benefit of thousands of young families.

Please sign up HERE[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]