Friday, February 08, 2019

Storm of regulations make paid childcare ruinously expensive

During my childhood in the '40s and '50s, it was common for old ladies whose children had left home to take in neighbourhood children during the day for a small sum.  The only complaint that I ever heard about it was that the old lady was "too strict", probably not much of a fault. It was probably just a grumble as children continued to be sent to her.  The kids all seemed to do OK.  That should still be allowed

When it comes to qualifications, I would take any day a woman who has raised a family of her own over a young woman with just a university degree

A young mother claims she has been forced to beg her friends and family to help her pay for skyrocketing childcare costs.

According to statistics released by the Productivity Commission, the average cost for childcare in New South Wales is $494 per week - but some parents are forking out an eye-watering $200 per day.

The Australian Childcare Alliance NSW (ACA) claims the Government has failed to do enough to stop rising costs, and has called for an urgent parliamentary inquiry.

Yasna Alaina, 25, who lives with her husband and three children aged four, three and one in Brighton Le Sands in Sydney, said she spends between $500 and $600 a fortnight on childcare.

Due to rising costs, Mrs Alaina said she has been forced to ask her friends and family for help as she finds it hard to afford the fees while earning a part-time wage.

'It puts a huge financial burden on things,' she said. 'I've had to make payment plans, I have lots of stress. I've had to ask my in-laws, parents and friends for help. It's very difficult to ask for help.'

Mrs Alaina's husband Anthony is unable to work as he is suffering from an injured back and needs surgery. His injury means he can only look after the children for an hour at a time, making childcare crucial for the family. 'I need them to be there so I can work,' Mrs Alaina said.

She works up to 35 hours per week as a disability support worker.  'I try and pick up as many hours as I can to make it work,' she said.

Daily fees at the Lookout Early Education Centre in affluent Mosman on Sydney's North Shore are $185 for a 13 to 24-month-old child.

The ACA said it was aware of one childcare charging $200 per day. ACA chief executive Chiang Lim said lease costs and staff-to-child ratios were causing costs to blow out. 'It's a perfect storm in NSW, caused by regulatory burdens,' he said.

'The Government has got to pull their finger out and think ''what can we do to lower costs''. 'The system is pretty much broken.'

Mr Lim said standards across Australia were not the same, and that was contributing to the costs.

In New South Wales, four fully qualified teachers are required compared to just one in all other states and territories to care for the same number of children. 'Do NSW children need four times more teaching?' Mr Lim said.

'In NSW, we need to stop discriminating against children based on what their parents choose for their healthcare.'

Across Australia, the most expensive state or territory for childcare was the Australian Capital Territory, where 50 hours of childcare cost parents and caregivers $560 per week.

The national average for childcare is $460 a week - an increase of 2.8 per cent compared to 2017.

In Victoria, parents are paying an average of $490 a week for 50 hours of care, while those in Queensland are forking out $417 each week.


Sydney's motherhood divide: the women playing 'catch up'

Well-off women delay motherhood

Sydney is a city divided by the age of its new mums.

In virtually every neighbourhood to the city’s north and east more than 70 per cent of births are now to women over the age of 30. But across much of Sydney’s west and south west more than half of all births are to mothers aged under 30, a study has found.

In the Paddington-Moore Park neighbourhood 89.6 per cent of mothers giving birth were aged over 30, the biggest share in Sydney. Next highest was Woollahra (89.3 per cent), Manly-Fairlight (88.8 per cent) and Bondi-Tamarama-Bronte (88.1 per cent).

The two neighbourhoods with the lowest share of mothers giving birth over the age of 30 were in Sydney’s outer west - Lethbridge Park-Tregear with 35.7 per cent and Bidwell-Hebersham-Emerton with 36.1 per cent.

The analysis took account of all births, not just first-time mothers.

Macquarie University demographer Nick Parr, who conducted the research, said there was a strong trend among women in some parts of Sydney to put off having children during their 20s and they play "catch-up" during their 30s to compensate. "Childbearing is being compressed into the latter part of the reproductive age period," he said.

Professor Parr identified 20 local areas in Sydney where the 35-39 year-old age bracket is the most common for women to give birth, mostly in relatively affluent suburbs in the city's inner east and north.

One factor is a trend for women to establish themselves in a career before starting a family. Sydney regions with low birth rates among women under 30 years also had a high proportion of women working full-time.

Another possible driver is the high cost of housing in inner suburbs of Sydney as women delay having children so they can save for a deposit, or service a large mortgage. Districts with very low birth rates among women under 30 years of age overlapped with suburbs with relatively expensive housing.

Professor Parr used Bureau of Statistics data to study local fertility patterns in Sydney between 2011 and 2015. He presented the findings at a recent Australian Population Association conference.

In some inner suburbs the birth rate – which measures the number of births per woman – has fallen to a very low level. The lowest were in Sydney-Haymarket-The Rocks (0.77), Potts Point-Woolloomooloo (0.79), Surry Hills (0.89) and Darlinghurst (0.9).

But in some parts of the city the overall birth rate had remained relatively high even though a large number of women have delayed having children until their 30s. This was most apparent on Sydney’s northern beaches. In Avalon-Palm Beach and Warriewood-Mona Vale the birth rate was 2.1, well above the national figure.

The neighbourhood of Lakemba [lots of poor immigrants] in Sydney’s south west had the city's highest overall birth rate at 3.07 births per woman, followed by Lethbridge Park-Tregear (2.92) and Auburn South (2.88).

Nationally, the total fertility rate fell from 1.79 babies per woman in 2016 to 1.74 in 2017, the lowest since 2001.

While the fertility rate among women aged over 35 years has been on the rise, it has been falling for other age groups according to Bureau of Statistics data released in December.

Over the three decades to 2017, the fertility rate of women aged 35-39 has more than doubled and for women aged 40-44 it has tripled. In contrast, teenage fertility nearly halved during that period.

Women aged 30-34 had the highest fertility rate in 2017, followed by women aged 25-29.


Teachers to push for students to read more books featuring gay characters after study encourages educators to 'challenge heterosexism'

Rubbish! If you want to get kids into reading you have to have stories that they can relate to

University researchers have called for high school students to read more books with gay characters to better reflect sexual diversity.

Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology found two of the 21 texts recommended for study during English classes by the national curriculum authority have gay characters or themes - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

In an analysis of their research, the group behind the findings said teachers should 'challenge heterosexism' and 'give voice to a wider range of perspectives on love'.

In an editorial published in English in Australia - the Australian Association for the Teaching of English's journal - the group made reference to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2017, calling it a 'watershed moment in Australian history'.

'English teachers surely need to respond to this endorsement of same-sex marriage on the part of an overwhelming majority of the population,' the editorial said.

QUT researchers Kelli McGraw and Lisa van Leent have asked those who choose the texts used in school curriculums to better represent 'diverse sexual identities', The Australian reported.

'By queering the senior ­English sample text list in the Australian curriculum … at the very least, LGBTIQ+ youth will see aspects of their lives reflected at school,' they wrote in the editorial.

In their analysis, Dr McGraw and Dr van Leent said the texts on the current curriculum 'grossly represents that under-represented queer life'.

Jennifer Buckingham, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Independent Research Studies, said the selecting of books should be based on quality rather than 'fulfilling an arbitrary quota of LGBQIT characters'. 

Associate professor in social work at Flinders University Damien Riggs, supported the calls for more diverse sexual representation in texts studied at school. 'Children who are gender or sexually diverse get to see themselves reflected,' he said.


Sydney hospital faces being BANNED from using trainees after a young plastic surgeon broke ranks with doctors to reveal she'd quit after working 24 days straight

This sort of thing seems to be common worldwide. It seems to be aimed at seeing whether young doctors are tough enough -- a sort of rite of passage.  A couple of years ago, the EU put a ban on long hours and got mightily abused over it.  But it is in any case abominable to have sleep-deprived doctors treating you

A Sydney hospital faces the possibility of losing their trainee doctors after a fatigued young plastic surgeon lifted the lid on the industry that 'broke' her.

Dr Yumiko Kadota resigned from Bankstown Hospital after working 24 days straight, and spent the next six weeks in hospital being treated for sleep deprivation.

She sparked outrage after exposing the poor working conditions endured by junior doctors, including shifts exceeding 20 hours without a break and allegations of rampant sexism.

Following her exposure of the industry, New South Wales Minister for Health Brad Hazzard promised to dig deeper into the plight of ambitious trainee doctors. 'The starting point has to be people's wellbeing. People's lives shouldn't be compromised,' he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr Hazzard admitted there were 'financial and otherwise' factors that would need to be considered, but change was necessary.

The call for an inquest was supported by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Council, who could remove their trainees from Bankstown Hospital if an inquiry supported Dr Kadota's claims.

President of RACS Council John Batten said he was 'appalled' by the inflammatory blog post.

'We are appalled by the case... firstly because that this sort of behaviour is still occurring, and secondly that someone who had aspirations for a surgical career may no longer continue because of her experience,' Dr Batten said.

Dr Kadota had poured more than a decade of her life into studying medicine and surgery, but quickly fled the profession after experiencing the 'toxic' workplace culture.

The young health and wellbeing enthusiast detailed her long journey in a blog post titled 'The ugly side of becoming a surgeon'.

In it, she revealed how she transitioned from 'bright-eyed and bushy-tailed beginnings' into 'the worst working days of my life'.

She described her career trajectory as a 'demise', but stressed that she didn't want to discourage people from entering the industry, only to raise awareness of the 'toxic surgical environment that still exists in Australia'.

Dr Kadota said she was lauded as one of the top surgical interns her hospital had ever seen.

The encouragement made her the first to enter the hospital and the last to leave, soaking up all the information she could.

'I stayed back after hours to assist surgeries – not because I had to, but because I wanted to spend more time in the operating theatre,' she wrote.

Six years into her career, she began to see the 'dark side of surgery'.

A senior neurosurgeon constantly overlooked her for assignments, instead choosing in 'favour of a pretty girl'.

The same neurosurgeon would constantly taunt her, saying she was on a 'downward spiral' and telling her to take her clothes off in Japanese.

Workdays spanning 20 hours meant there was no time to go home and sleep before her next shift started.

She would just sleep in the 'recovery' room, where the clattering of the overnight staff made for a restless sleep.

There was no such thing as a Monday-to-Friday schedule. Days and weeks were long.

'I was at the hospital for 120-140 hours a fortnight, and work would follow me home with phone calls whilst trying to park my car in the garage, whilst I took a shower, whilst I was trying to cook dinner, and whilst I was trying to fall asleep.

'Every fortnight I would only be guaranteed four nights of uninterrupted sleep. 'The other 10 nights were unpredictable. Maybe I'll get woken up, maybe I won't. 'This mental unrest for 10 days a fortnight was taking a toll on me. I couldn't go and exercise, I couldn't plan anything social…

She accrued more than 100 hours of overtime work in just her first month in her new role, and it took a toll.

Dr Kadota was unwell, disheveled and burnt out with a combination of stress, dehydration, poor nutrition and sleep deprivation.

Talk of her issues made its way through the halls until her head of department called her.

''We need to look after you. You're damn good, you're damn good,' said the voice on the other line with so much conviction that I believed it. 'I don't want you to burnout' … but I already was.'

With hopes of a roster change, she arrived at work the next morning in a better mood. But, she wrote, that was the breaking point.

A 12-hour Monday was followed by a 20-hour Tuesday. An operation had gone long into the night and her boss never answered her call for back-up. He jovially asked her the next morning if she had actually called him, or whether he was just dreaming.

She would ask for breaks and be knocked back and told to toughen up.

When she received a call at 3am, her frustration was met with an order to 'stop being an emotional female'.

She resigned on June 1 last year, her 24th consecutive work day.

With her resignation, she knew she would be blacklisted from ever getting another job in a Sydney plastic surgery, but enough was enough. 'I was physically alive, but spiritually broken,' she wrote.

When word of her resignation got back to her head of department, he asked if she couldn't just 'hold on' for another couple of months.

When she told him she couldn't, he replied: 'It's a shame. You have good hands. You're good at what you do… but if you can't handle the hours, maybe this isn't for you.'

Dr Kadota says she hopes that by sharing her story, she can raise awareness about doctors' health, work-life balance and maybe bring about a change in culture.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

"QUT researchers Kelli McGraw and Lisa van Leent have asked those who choose the texts used in school curriculums to better represent 'diverse sexual identities'....

Yep. Dykes. Its nearly always the f****in dykes.