2nd July 2017

Media Release re: Proposed Au Pair Programme

The Australian Nanny Association is the national peak body representing the nanny sector. Our membership represents 4’500 nannies, service providers and families engaging nanny services.

Many of our agency members have more than 5000 nannies on their books. Our members are required to meet our required standards in relation to background checks, training and support. Nannies within Australia are currently engaged in various capacities such as live in, live out, supporting rural and city based families from part time to full time care.  The ANA has worked diligently over the last 4 years to create awareness, training opportunities and raise the level of private home based nanny care. There is much work to be done and we would not like to take a step backwards in relation to continuing to raise the bar in the quality of home based care.

At present, there is also a Federal Government subsidised In Home Based Care programme and Nanny Pilot Programme. These programmes are merging and a new programme is currently in planning. There will be many home-based care jobs made available by these programmes. The ANA recommends waiting for the results of the current assessments of these programmes to finish and for the commencement of the new programme to ascertain if there is a need for additional workers that cannot be met by Australian permanent residents and citizens. We do hope the criteria of the new home-based care programme allows many more families to be able to engage the services of those carers.

The Australian Nanny Association welcomes the Federal Government consideration of a regulated au pair programme. However, the ANA would like to see the Government consulting with the many home based care stakeholders in the sector.

Au pairs are currently informal care and unregulated – there is much confusion within the parenting and au pair community in regards to applicable laws in each state requiring au pairs to hold a Working with Children Check or state and territory based equivalent, pay rates and conditions.

Children’s well – being, safety and quality care should be at the forefront of a possible Au Pair Programme. Areas such as appropriate background checks, suitability, experience, training and support will be needed to ensure quality care and safety of children utilising this programme.

The ANA would like to see a cap on the number of hours that an au pair can work to enable them to study or participate in cultural experiences under a cultural exchange agreement.

The feedback we have from au pairs and families utilising au pairs is that au pairs tend to leave families between 3-6 months after placement due to dissatisfaction from either party or the au pair wants to continue their travels. This has also raised concerns with some au pairs being thrown out on the street with nowhere to live because their placement did not work out.

The ANA also holds concerns for vulnerable people who will be working as au pairs and would like to see an appropriate checking and support system in place in conjunction with appropriate wages.

The Australian Nanny Association can be contacted for media inquiries at annemarie@australiannannyassociation.org.au

MEDIA RELEASE 9th September 2016

The Australian Nanny Association recently became aware of a terrible situation where a family engaged the services of a person claiming to be a nanny directly from an online parents group. This person stated that they had a Working With Children Check and other background information but unfortunately the family was not aware that they needed to sight this documentation and verify it.

The person did not hold a Working With Children Check. The family only became aware of the gravity of the situation when there was an unexplained incident with their child whilst in the care of the person hired as a nanny. An Ambulance was called to assist and due to the odd unexplained nature of the incident, Police were also called to investigate. The child was hospitalised and upon further investigation it was found that the person the family had hired as their nanny and was working illegally with children without holding a Working With Children Check and other standard documentation a professional nanny would typically hold.

The Australian Nanny Association recommends that all families either engage the services of a professional nanny agency to undertake thorough background checks of the nanny they are wanting to engage or if hiring directly that parents understand the legal and recommended requirements involved. People working with children in all states and territories either require a Working With Children Check or Working WIth Vulnerable People Check. It is standard industry practice that nannies hold current First aid and CPR, have undertaken professional development training in child care and can also provide recent contactable professional child care related referees, most importantly hold a current and clear Working With Children Check.

After the ANA raised the issue reminding parents of the need to validate the WWCC in a 3000 member online parenting group it was obvious that many parents – especially those engaging au pairs were not aware that it is a legal requirement for au pairs, babysitters and nannies to hold a current Working With Children Check. Given the findings and recommendations at the recent Royal Commission into Child Abuse it is something that the ANA believes and hopes parents will take seriously when engaging people to care for their precious children.

The ANA would also like to see further promotion and awareness campaigns informing families of the importance of ‘Checking the Check’ with the Working With Children Check.

Further information for your local area can be found here: http://www.australiannannyassociation.org.au/working-with-children-check/

All media inquiries: 0448430370 annemarie@australiannannyassociation.org.au

MEDIA RELEASE – BUDGET 2016 – 2017

4th May 2016

The Australian Nanny Association (ANA) congratulates Treasurer – Minister Scott Morrison on the 2016/16 Australian Federal budget.

The delay in the implementation of the ‘Jobs for Families’ Child Care package is a positive move and will allow further consultation and opportunity for consideration to changes and industry recommendations. We continue to offer our support to the Government in this area.

We are pleased to note that the Interim Home Based Care Nanny Pilot Programme has been extended until June 2018 and that the subsidy rate for eligible families has increased from the maximum of $7 per hour per child to $10 per hour per child commencing on the 1st of June 2016.

We welcome the announcement that from the 1st of June 2016, more families can apply for enter the programme which was previously closed and that current service providers will be able to assist and register families directly.

The ANA has previously provided feedback to the Department of Education on our recommendations of increasing the subsidy rate and re-opening the pilot to new families.

We look forward to seeing further results of the ongoing Pilot assessments and would like to see further consideration given to an adaptation of the regulations around training of nannies participating in the programme.

Annemarie Sansom
President
Australian Nanny Association
www.australiannannyassociation.org.au
M: 0448430370

OPINION
Nanny Pilot Programme – Give me a break!
3rd February 2016

What is the Nanny Pilot Programme?

The programme is a 2-year trial partially subsidised by the Australian Federal Government. This programme assists families with child care in their own home provided by a nanny. It has been put in place to assist families who have multiple children, live in an area where they cannot access child care or hours of work are outside approved and subsidised child care services.

How do parents participate?

  • families must earn a combined annual household income of less than $250,000
  • families must have at least one parent/guardian who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • children who receive the care must be dependants under the age of 13 or in their last year of primary school, or 13 years or older with additional support needs or a disability.
  • to be eligible for the subsidy, both parents/guardians (or in the case of a sole parent family, the sole parent) must be engaged in work, training or study for a minimum of eight hours per fortnight, unless they are exempt.
  • children receiving a subsidy under the pilot programme must have received all vaccines required for their age or be on a catch-up schedule as per the National Immunisation Program.

The programme had a 4-week application period for parents ending in October 2015. Families who were trying to plan their work and child care needs were required to apply for the programme up to 4 months in advance and then be prioritized based on their specific circumstances.
Families who wanted to apply for the pilot are not able to access other programmes such as In Home Care and other allowances such as J.E.T allowance whilst utilizing the programme. This meant some parents dropped out prior to the commencement of the programme.
The programme was launched quietly with a soft launch where the child care community was asked to promote the programme to families. There were also a few news media pieces released at the same time. Some families are only just starting to learn of the programme but unfortunately unless the Department of Education re-opens applications to families those families will still have unmet child care needs for the next two years while the pilot runs.

The Department of Education notified successful service providers on December 23rd 2015 and then closed down over the Christmas holiday period until returning to respond to questions from providers and families around the 8th of January 2016.

Providers have had to establish the programme in a very short period of time with:

  1. Intake of successful parent applicant as advised by The Department of Education
  2. Advise successful families of pricing and structure of the programme based on families requirements and subsidy rate.
  3. Assess the family home
  4. Initialise an agreement to provide services
  5. Recruitment and placement of the nanny
  6. Manage payroll, super, insurance, tax and leave for the nanny
  7. Manage the subsidy and Government compliance and reporting
  8. Roster and support the nanny and family during the placement

We have now reached the beginning of February 2016 and some providers have only just commenced services or will be commencing soon.
Some parents have voiced frustration and confusion about the costs of engaging a legally employed nanny. Typically, providers are charging between $25-35 per hour for a nanny in the Nanny Pilot Programme. When the minimum wage in Australia is $21.67 per hour and you consider that most families are going to want an experienced, trained nanny caring for their children that is employed legally. (Workers Compensation and Public Liability Insurance, Superannuation, tax, leave, WH&S, support and Government compliance) Then the rate of $30 per hour is understandable. Consideration also needs to be given to the nanny in relation to minimum shift times. 30 minute shifts would not be acceptable to any other Australian worker, so why would we expect a nanny to be ok with this?
With the subsidy being so low in comparison to other types of care (In Home Care $10 per hour – comparable to the Nanny Pilot Programme as it is a very similar programme, Family Day Care $10.70 per hour and Long Day Care $11.55 per hour per child) it can make it very difficult for families hoping for flexible affordable child care.

The best way to utilize the Nanny Pilot Programme is:

  • families with 2 or more children to utilise the programme. The subsidy is per child per hour. When multiple child families utilise the programme they will get the greatest benefit.
  • sharing a nanny. This could be difficult for shift working families but may work for others. Nanny Pilot Programme parents could share a nanny with a non-pilot family and save on costs or the service provider may be able to assist with matching. Share nanny situations can be tricky and need to be managed well from the onset to avoid difficulties with trying to match parenting philosophies, illness of children and which residence to use.

Suggestions that might help the programme are:

  • Consider both the employed and self-employed model for nannies
  • Consider collaborating with quality Registered Training Organisations such as TAFE to offer an accredited Nanny Certification.
  • Look at the on costs such as payroll tax at 4.5% and if anything can be done that to assist service providers so those costs are not then further added onto families.
  • Reduce the costs of CCMS programs that are required in Government subsidised programmes.
  • Open up the pilot for further family applications with clear communication and scope around which families would get the best use out of the programme.
  • Work with employers who require shift workers to encourage flexible work places and formalised and transparent rostering systems.

When you compare the Nanny Pilot to Long Day Care in city suburbs, a centre may charge $80 per day per child or more. This starts to really add up when you have 2 or more children and is comparable to a nanny. Educators working in centre based care are typically earning between $25-30 per hour caring for up to 4 children at a time. Parents may not be aware of the cost comparison and this is where confusion has arisen around the reality of costs of engaging a legally employed nanny.
The Nanny Pilot Programme is a wonderful opportunity for families to access this type of care and also assists with offering work towards higher standards and formalization of a previously unregulated informal nanny sector.
The good news is its early days – 4 weeks into a 2-year trial. Hopefully we will see some valuable discussion during the trial around ways to make the programme successful in future and what should be changed or kept in order to do so.
We will be working with the nanny sector to support them and have also offered the Department of Education our support as the national peak body representing the Australian nanny industry.

Annemarie Sansom
President
Australian Nanny Association
Inquiries: annemarie@australiannannyassociation.org.au
M: 0448430370

MEDIA STATEMENT 5th November 2015

The Australian Nanny Association (ANA) is a non-profit membership Association. ANA is also the peak national body representing the nanny sector.
We are holding our annual picnic for the first time in Darwin, Northern Territory.

The picnic is held as a national event in conjunction with Nanny Appreciation Week.

Nanny Appreciation Week is about celebrating our in home carers, governesses and nannies who all play a big part of helping to care for and raise the children of Australia.
The picnic is free for the community and we welcome all in home carers, their children and families to attend.

Nannies often work in isolation and this is an opportunity for the community to get together.

The ANA aims to continue encouraging best practice, qualifications and training within the nanny sector and regularly meets with key stakeholders in childcare.
With the Nanny Pilot Programme commencing in January 2016 we want to ensure quality practices for nannies, families and children within the in home care sector.

Our picnic is hosted by Samantha Ryder from Bubba Bing Care
Venue: Evans Cafe Botanical Gardens
Date: Wed 25th November 2015
Time: 10am-2pm

If you have any questions please contact us on:


Annemarie Sansom
Vice President
Australian Nanny Association
www.australiannannyassociation.org.au
M: 0448430370

MEDIA STATEMENT 18th July 2015

NANNY PILOT SET UP FOR FAILURE

The Australian Nanny Association is concerned the Federal government Nanny Pilot is set up to fail.

The Federal government released its draft guidelines for the Home Based Care (Nanny Pilot) this week for public comment until Thursday 23rd July 5pm.

The pilot is aimed at low to middle income earning families with work hours outside of standard hours of approved childcare, and families who live in rural and regional areas.

There has been no specific consultation on the nanny pilot and it certainly shows in the draft.

The costs to meet the required regulations will outweigh the funding allocated to services wanting to tender.

With the funding range allocated for compliance being from 0.17 to 0.35 cents per hour per child, services would likely be running at a loss to provide the pilot on behalf of government. In comparison the existing In Home Care scheme receives 0.71 cents per hour to provide a similar service.

If services add fees to cover the expenses of administering the pilot this would then add cost to families requiring this type of care.

The low subsidy rate of $5.95 per hour available to eligible families is means tested and drops down to as low as $3.95 per hour per child, based on the family’s income.

Services have to cover recruitment, background checks, insurance, super, tax, support and professional development for each eligible nanny.

A qualified and experienced nanny would be a minimum of $30 per hour employed through a service provider.

With the grant allocated set as low as 0.17 cents per hour to cover purchasing new compliant software to administer the pilot, mileage and time to visit rural and regional families, administration time, support for families and nannies and professional development costs will be blown out for families and the goal of affordable, flexible, quality care left underachieved.

The Australian Nanny Association has concerns that the pilot has not considered the most important person – the child.

In the private nanny sector, experienced nanny agencies provide qualified and experienced nannies to families. Nanny agencies cover their costs within the placement but are not required to provide administration on behalf of the government on top of their own recruitment, training and administrative costs.

Services tendering for the pilot will be trying to keep costs down so families can afford to participate. With the costs specified in the draft guidelines untrained and inexperienced nannies would likely be providing care for between 4 and 7 children.

The Australian Nanny Association does not want to see the pilot fail or children be put at risk because of a lack of understanding of the nanny sector.
For interviews:
Annemarie Sansom, ANA Vice President / Spokesperson
0448430370
annemarie@australiannannyassociation.org.au

MEDIA STATEMENT 12th May 2015

The Australian Nanny Association (ANA) welcomes the confirmation in the federal budget announcement of a $250 million Interim Home Based Carer Pilot Programme (Nannies Trial) to extend subsidy support to eligible families using nannies. The pilot programme will extend fee assistance to eligible parents of approximately 10,000 children.

Subsidised support for families included in the nanny trial will be based on the new Child Care Subsidy introduced on the 1st July 2015 and capped at $7 per hour per child.

The nanny pilot will assist many shift working families who are currently unable to drop off or pick up their child from their childcare centre or Family Day Care.

The ANA is of the view that there still needs to be further consultation on the scope of the nanny trial and additional consideration given to a small percentage of families who may require overnight care. With the capped rate of $7 per hour per child, families requiring overnight care or with fewer than three children may still struggle to afford to pay a nanny to assist them.

The ANA believes that with further consultation of eligible families and relevant peak bodies, the nanny pilot will be successful over the two year trial period.

For interviews:
Annemarie Sansom, ANA Vice President / Spokesperson
0448430370
annemarie@australiannannyassociation.org.au

Response to announcement of a nanny pilot program.

Statement by The Australia Nanny Association in response to Minister Morrison’s announcement on the subsidised nanny pilot program.

The ANA welcomes Minister Morrison’s announcement that the government will run a pilot nanny program which will assist families with flexible childcare in their homes. Embracing and understanding the changing childcare needs of Australia’s families is crucial to be able to provide quality, flexible childcare and support parents to work.

We are really pleased to hear that Australia’s key emergency personnel such as police, fire, and ambulance personnel, along with nurses and other shift workers will finally be able to access flexible childcare in their homes. This is a positive step in the right direction for early childhood care and it is exciting to be moving into a more modern, adaptive system for our future childcare needs.

Working as nannies and caring for children in their own homes is a privilege, and one that we take very seriously. We understand the mandated criteria and look forward to further consultation with the government and other stakeholders to ensure the pilot program is tailored for quality, when proceeding with the two-year program. The ANA is thankful to have experienced members from all areas of the early childhood sector and we value their ongoing support and input.

The ANA has always believed there should be more support and training offered to nannies providing childcare in the home, and has been in discussions with ACECQA and training providers with a view to addressing this issue. Many of the nannies currently working in Australia hold centre based childcare qualifications however we are hopeful that there will be a nanny specific qualification available in the near future.
For interviews:
Annemarie Sansom, ANA Vice President / Spokesperson
0448430370
annemarie@australiannannyassociation.org.au

MEDIA RELEASE 20th February 2015

The Australian Nanny Association welcomes news The Productivity Commission inquiry into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning has recommended nannies be subsidised. The Australian Nanny Association has been working with the home based nanny sector to set minimum standards and best practice.

This is a win for families who are in desperate need of flexible and quality in home child care. The ANA has been working together with the Early Childhood sector to help support families needing to utilise a combination of centre based and care in the home.

The ANA minimum standards can be found here: ANA Minimum Standards

The ANA submissions to the Productivity Commission inquiry into Child care can be found here:
Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry

For interviews:
Annemarie Sansom, ANA Vice President / Spokesperson
0448430370
annemarie@australiannannyassociation.org.au

 

MEDIA RELEASE 4th July 2014

Nanny suitability

The Australian Nanny Association (ANA) is disappointed to see incorrect and unfounded claims about the suitability of nannies as a form of childcare from other parts of the childcare sector surface again in the public discussion about the future direction of childcare in Australia. It is important understand that “nanny” describes a specific professional role of providing childcare in the home environment and not confuse the title with other roles as defined on our website.

Some facts about professional nannies employed to care for children in Australia:

  • Nannies have been providing approved childcare services in Australian homes within the government funded In Home Care scheme for since July 2000, and privately for much longer.
  • All professional nannies are required to have the appropriate working with children’s and police checks as set by the state they are working in.
  • Most nannies have an early childhood qualification, ranging from a Certificate III or Diploma in Children’s Services, through to a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education. Some have nursing qualifications or other child related university degrees.
  • Many have previously worked in childcare centres and moved into a nanny role for a career change or to provide childcare in a different setting.
  • Nannies are often utilised in circumstances where more traditional forms of childcare are either unavailable or unsuitable. For example: families whose work commitments and childcare needs fall outside the availability of centre based care, or for children with special needs who require more individualised care at home. In home nanny care is also suitable for children of parents with a chronic illness or disability.
  • Many Australian families who employ nannies also utilise long day care and pre-school programs in addition to nanny care.
  • Nannies plan and implement age appropriate activities for children at home, along with taking children on outings and play dates to ensure their social and educational needs are catered to.

ANA, and the professional nannies working in Australia are continually shocked and distressed by the repeated, incorrect claims made about nannies and feel that it would be more beneficial for the sector to focus on collectively meeting the diverse needs of Australia’s children and their families.

ANA supports all forms of childcare and appreciates the value in each different service. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the childcare needs of families and the childcare sector has a rare opportunity at the moment to help shape the future of childcare in Australia. There is no room for protectionism when it comes to creating a fair and equitable childcare system for Australian families, and ANA hopes that the childcare sector as a whole can work together for the benefit of Australia’s children.

For interviews:
Annemarie Sansom, ANA Vice President / Spokesperson
0448430370
annemarie@australiannannyassociation.org.au