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Free child care during the coronavirus is a dream come true. But what will it cost our educators?

Free child care for all! Education and care services funded directly! The complex and annoying child care subsidy system with its myriad rules turned off! The Prime Minister stating on national TV that early education and care is important for children and working families! Educators' and teachers' jobs saved! It's amazing what a pandemic can do, isn't it? What were once pipe dreams of advocates for young children's education and care, and the people who provide it, is now reality. But my elation is tinged with sadness about some aspects of the plan, ostensibly designed to provide parents with free childcare so they can continue working through the coronavirus crisis, and for childcare services to survive. What we are asking of educators...

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Flaws found in Qld child safety department

The complaints system used by the government department tasked with child safety is not up to the national standard, a report says. The report submitted in March by the Queensland Ombudsman says the way the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women handles complaints about children's safety goes against legislation. In his executive summary, Ombudsman Phil Clarke says issues including misclassification and under-reporting were identified in the investigation. One of the most glaring issues highlighted in the report is that the department's Complaint Management System does not comply with the law. "The internal review mechanism provided under the department's complaints management policy and procedure does not accord with the Australian/New Zealand Standard because it does not provide for a merits...

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New laws to protect family violence victims during COVID-19 pandemic

  Current crisis creates heightened risk for victims of family and domestic violence Perpetrators of family violence are using the virus as a method to control and coerce victims New laws will bolster justice system preparedness and response to the spread of COVID-19 These laws will help victims across Western Australia   The McGowan Government has moved swiftly to bring into force important laws to protect victims of family and domestic violence, who are at increased risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Urgent amendments to the Sentencing Act 1995, the Sentence Administration Act 2003, the Bail Act 1982 and the Restraining Orders Act 1997 passed through both Houses of State Parliament today. The changes include: allowing the court to impose a...

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Prime minister Scott Morrison stresses Australia will live with coronavirus restrictions for at least six months

Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressed the coronavirus pandemic measures will be in place for at least six months. "It could be longer," he told A Current Affair during a live interview with Tracy Grimshaw. The prime minister said that the government's framework of six months was based off modelling done early in the pandemic and that he continued to use this figure to emphasise to Australians that the crisis and measures to contain it will be a long-term fixture. "There's no quick fix to this," he said. Mr Morrison hopes that in six months Australia will be in a "different position" in terms of how the virus is moving through the community. The hope is that in six months if the virus has peaked,...

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Coronavirus: A look inside the 'luxurious jail cells' of Sydney hotel quarantine

"We can't leave our room. We're stuck in these four walls. I can't even walk out to get fresh air. Police pace the corridors 24/7. It's like being in a luxurious jail cell." This is how Braiden Farrer describes quarantine at Sydney's Hilton Hotel, far from the five-star luxury one might imagine. Mr Farrer is one of 400 Australians in forced isolation at the Hilton, and among thousands admitted to hotels across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week announced all international arrivals would be sent to hotel quarantine for two weeks from midnight last Saturday. "I missed the cut off by six hours as I landed in Sydney on Sunday morning at 6am," Mr Farrer said....

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