Can 'Daughter Water' help close the gender pay gap?

daughter water

JO HARTLEY More than 3000 bottles of 'Daughter Water' were yesterday delivered to the desks of chief executives across the country - all in an effort to help equalise pay for men and women.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

xmas baby

Melissa Browne Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'A woman's IQ halves when she's pregnant,' boss told pregnant worker

JB Were

Hannah Low A former state manager of a wealth management firm claims she was sexually harassed and bullied to stand down from her job after taking time off to have children.

An open letter to Tony Abbott: please salvage our super

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon

NICOLE PEDERSEN-MCKINNON We face financial ruin, but most of us don’t realise it. If we don’t act together to salvage our superannuation, I have no doubt the new GFC will be the Girls’ Financial Crisis.

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One of the most important things a new mum can do

computer

VICTORIA BIRCH Finances may not be as cute as a newborn, but with many women’s working arrangements changing post-baby, monetary matters need attention too.

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Future of paid parental leave scheme is uncertain

Prime Minster, Tony Abbott

LATIKA BOURKE He promised to pay working mothers their full wages for six months to look after new babies, but government sources are questioning if and when the scheme will go ahead.

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One in two mums, one in four dads experience discrimination at work

Broderick

Elizabeth Broderick One in two mothers and more than a quarter of the fathers and partners surveyed reported experiencing discrimination in the workplace at some point during pregnancy, parental leave or on return to work.

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Childcare costs, not paid leave, the real issue for parents

Paid Parental Leave is fast becoming a noisy distraction to the real issue confronting working parents, which is the cost of childcare.

Jonathan Hastie Given the choice between maintaining their wage for six months to have a child, or having a reduced rate of pay for a time but a better deal on childcare when returning to work, there are no odds on what most working parents would choose.

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Late-night childcare not needed, parents say

Liz Porqueddu

MIKI PERKINS The plan for childcare centres to operate around-the-clock is neither practical nor in demand, according to a nationwide survey.

HECS-style loan suggested as alternative to paid parental leave

Parental

JUDITH IRELAND While Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme is looking unlikely, a prominent think tank has created an alternative suggestion.

Introducing the million-dollar baby

Baby Juke

MARC MONCRIEF Juke is only three weeks old, but he's joined a generation of children whose education costs could reach $1 million by the time they finish university.

Childcare is expensive, but worth it in the long run

Susan Krieg The cost of childcare is in the spotlight again. But highlighting the cost, rather than considering its overall benefits to children, families and Australian society, is missing the point.

Can a working mum be as good at her job after maternity leave?

mum baby

Antonia Hoyle Working mothers seem doomed to feel they're failing both their career and children. So how do you break the double-guilt cycle?

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We need to look at the big financial picture

piggy bank

JUSTINE DAVIES It’s something that gets very little attention, either in the media or in discussions of long-term family budgeting, but superannuation losses can have a big impact on your financial future.

Childcare costs skyrocket

working mum

AAP with staff writers Some women earning less than five dollars an hour once childcare fees and income tax rates are taken in to consideration.

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Single parents face tax slug of 80 per cent

working single mother

GARETH HUTCHENS A quirk in the Abbott government's plans to cut family payments means single parents will soon have a huge disincentive to earn more than $48,000 a year.

Grandparents make grand carers

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COSIMA MARRINER The use of costly nannies to look after children is on the wane, with grandparents and childcare centres taking up the slack instead, a survey of 1900 parents shows.

When every cent counts: a mum's story of spending her last $7

seven dollars

LETITIA ROWLANDS A mother's heartfelt plea about what $7 can really mean to a family facing financial hardship has gone viral.

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Is working from home really the answer to work-life balance?

Juggling childcare and working from home can be tricky.

Fiona Macdonald While working from home sounds like a great solution for someone combining paid work and childcare, research has identified some common issues and problems with these arrangements.

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Budgeting for life with your baby

piggy bank

Jane Ratcliffe A new baby pulls on your purse strings as well as your heart. The key is to have a plan so you’ll be ready for the change in finances that comes with your new arrival.

Budget 2014: a sneak peek

Leak week (Thumbnail)

Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey's first Federal budget is to be handed down tonight. Here's what we think it is set to include, based on early leaks and discussion.

Overweight people could pay more for health cover

scales man

DAN HARRISON The Abbott government's proposed Commission of Audit will allow health funds to increase fees for overweight people as a result of their "lifestyle choices".

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How the Commission of Audit would affect my family

Commission of Audit report to be released (Thumbnail)

Therese Simpson The recently released Commission of Audit report recommends cuts to some carers payments and an increase in the cost of doctor's visits and some medications on the PBS scheme. One mum and carer tells Essential Baby what these changes would mean for her family.

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How Abbott's PPL scheme will cost women too much

puzzle

AMY GRAY The benefits of extended paid parental leave are be lauded, but what's the real cost if it's weighted to actually keep women in the home?

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Tony Abbott amends paid parental leave scheme

PM defends parental leave policy (Thumbnail)

AMBER ROBINSON Tony Abbott has today confirmed reports that his paid parental leave scheme will be adjusted, with a new cap on payments for parents on salaries of over $100,000.

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Half of all mums experience discrimination at work

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Part Time Worker

6-12 Months

0-6 Months

Only Young Women

Only Women

Fashion Industry

White Collar Worker

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25-30 Years

Mother

Fashion Model

Professional Occupation

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Employment Issues

Miki Perkins, Judith Ireland A new report has found that half of all Australian mothers say they have experienced discrimination to do with work, including during pregnancy, while on parental leave, and when returning to work.

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'Shocking' treatment of pregnant women at work

pregnant work

Elizabeth Broderick Believe me, snide remarks are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of discrimination in relation to pregnancy, parental leave and returning to work.

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Updating your resume after parental leave

140x93_pregnant_work

It's always best to be honest in a CV; you're entitled to take maternity leave and your skills haven't decreased while you were away. Here's how to make your resume shine.

Life as a 'latte papa' in Sweden

Latte

Richard Orange In Sweden, it's so common to see trendily dressed men pushing prams through the cities that visitors from the US are reputed to ask about all the ''gay nannies''.

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'Employers see mums as a risk'

mum baby

Natalie Bull When I was interviewed I'm ashamed to say I tried not to mention that I had a young baby. Do you know how awful it feels to try to hide the thing you are most proud of and love more than anything?

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Childcare issues contributing to major productivity concerns

CHILDCARE.

Georgia Wilkins and Colin Kruger Childcare cost is causing stress for parents and is a major productivity issue for Australia.

Abbott firm on paid parental leave scheme, but will it really go ahead?

Women of 'calibre' deserve paid parental leave: Abbott (Thumbnail)

LETITIA ROWLANDS As the Coalition's landslide victory last September fades into the distance, serious doubts surround whether the scheme, in its current form at least, will ever see the light of day.

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Fighting for the right to lean out, or why I hate Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg

Rosa Brooks Long ago, before Sandberg's book Lean In convinced me to change my ways, I had a life. Then I read it and realised I was self-sabotaging slacker.

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Childcare rebate vital to working parents

Parents struggle with childcare costs

Letitia Rowlands Childcare has become so expensive, many parents could not afford to work without government subsidies.

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Trial of flexible childcare a flop

childcare

smh.com.au A trial of flexible childcare, including overnight care, established by the previous Labor government has flopped as fewer than one fifth of the families targeted are actually participating.

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Centrelink denies carer benefits to Finn Smith's family

finn smith

Kathy Sundstrom Finn Smith's parents, Jason and Sarah, spent two months beside their son as he fought deadly meningococcal. They never expected they'd have to battle Centrelink, too.

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Women on maternity leave facing 'second baby effect'

working

SHANE GREEN Call it the second baby effect: women return to work after the birth of their second child and discover they are being discriminated against by previously accommodating managers.

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Millions of children to benefit from Medicare dental scheme

teeth toddler

DAN HARRISON More than 3 million children will be eligible for Medicare-funded dental care under a new scheme.

Abbott government won't rule out GP co-payments

Peter Dutton.

GARETH HUTCHENS The Abbott government is refusing to rule out a $6 co-payment for every GP visit in a bid to rein in health spending, sparking fears that it will ultimately end Medicare.

'Why can't mums play for Australia?'

Heather Garriock

DAVID SYGALL Gender equality is proving elusive for Matilda Heather Garriock, who is hoping to finish her career on a high note - as a player for Australia and a mum.

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Balancing family and a start-up

ros moriarty

Ros Moriarty Ros Moriarty, managing director of Indigenous design company The Jumbana Group, gives her advice on starting - and continuing to keep afloat - a family business.

Studying after parenthood

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Lisa Almond Usually when you announce to the world you are having a baby people’s faces light up and they offer you words of encouragement. But my pregnancy announcement was unfortunately met with a different response. I was 20 years old and half way through a university degree.

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Childcare workers asked to hand back wage rise

CHILDCARE.

Jonathan Swan and Bianca Hall The Abbott government is asking childcare providers to ''do the right thing'' and hand back $62.5 million given to them to improve wages in the poorly paid sector.

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The truth about the working parent juggle

working mum

AMBER ROBINSON BBQ conversations in Sydney can be relied upon to deliver three topics of conversation: real estate, high schools, and, for those with young children: how do you do it?

A third of childcare centres not meeting benchmarks

Childcare Centre Director, Tanya Rapa.

COSIMA MARRINER Early childhood centres are struggling to meet demanding new standards for the education, health and safety of young children, according to the national regulator.

Abbott flags major review of childcare system

care

DANIEL HURST The Productivity Commission will launch an inquiry into how Australia’s childcare system can be improved to meet the needs of modern families.

How Collette Dinnigan quit for her family

Collette Dinnigan.

PAULA JOYE Paris Fashion Week proved to be the deal breaker: when Collette Dinnigan returned from her trip, she felt her 11-month-old son Hunter did'not recognise her.

Deciding not to return to work post-baby

work

Claire Dunn How - and when - do you tell the boss you're not coming back to work after a baby? Or that you're not really sure what you want to do?

One in four Australian households now has a woman as main income earner

Melissa Seto and Philip Carr with their daughters Sophia, 5, and Isabella, 3.

Rachel Wells, Lara O’Toole More Australian women are bringing home the lion’s share of the household income with females nominated as the breadwinner in one in four Australian households.

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Childcare red tape is keeping children safe

d

Lisa Bryant Nine children died while in childcare in Minnesota last year. In the same year in Australia, no child suffered an accidental death at a childcare service.

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Parental leave may trigger revolt Fears childcare fees could rise if subsidy goes Why I'll never say 'when I win lotto ...' Target's plastic bag backdown a loss for the silent majority The political mother-load is a heavy burden for women to bear Woolies warns of online scam Returning to work post-baby: what now? When work and motherhood collide Mum will pay $1000 for a job Coalition to push for less qualified childcare staff Bob Hawke says Tanya Plibersek shouldn't lead Labor 'as she has a three-year-old' More couples choosing to keep separate accounts 'You have to pay': mum battles private parking company ATO warns of new scam Why aren't more men taking paid parental leave? Parental leave cheat sheet Fact check: Are newly arrived asylum seekers paid more than pensioners? A single-minded struggle to get by Beware, it's a (childcare) jungle out there Daddy issues: blind spot on parental leave pay

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Video: 10-week-old baby sounds like she says 'I love you'

It’s mixed in amongst garbled baby talk, but this 10-week-old's apparent attempt at telling her parents that she loves them has made her an internet star.

I only enjoyed pregnancy after booking my caesarean

To say I became obsessed is something of an understatement. Everywhere I went I found cause to be reminded of my impending pain.

When your bundle doesn't bring immediate joy

One mum says joy is very a personal feeling and expecting all new mums to feel it in the months after their baby born may do more harm than good.

Lessons learned from my toddler

Blogger Kiran Chug explains why she is going to let her toddler make more decisions for himself.

Family welcomes first baby girl in more than 100 years

The Silverton family has heard the phrase "it's a girl" for the first time in four generations.

When a community of kindness steps in

In future when someone I care for, or even someone I barely know, is experiencing a difficult time, I will not overthink it. I'll follow my heart.

Mum in Business: Jac Bowie

Jac Bowie is the founder of Business in Heels, one of the fastest growing women’s networking events in Australia. She shares her story, including how she juggles work with a young family, and ways to work smarter.

What not to say to a mum of twins

Being a mum of identical twin boys stirs up great interest and fascination. It also opens itself up to nosy, invasive questions, as well as huge assumptions.

The mums suing over unplanned babies

A mother-of-five who calls her two youngest sons "miracle babies" is just one of many mums seeking financial compensation for their children's unplanned conceptions.

Video: Dad sings 'Hallelujah' to his daughter every year

It's a gorgeous song to begin with, but this dad's version of Hallelujah, sung for his young daughter, is especially touching.

Constipation in babies when starting solids

While starting solids can be frustrating and messy (yet also fun!), introducing solids can also play havoc on tiny digestive systems.

Parents reunited with baby snatched from hospital

A mother whose newborn baby was snatched from hospital has spoken of her joy and relief at getting her daughter back.

In defence of the bumpie

Are bumpies - bump selfies - really "exhibitionism of the weirdest kind"?

Life on the other side of the fence: Why I'm child-free and quite content

Acknowledging that motherhood isn't a bed of roses – to begrudge lack of time, sleep, money and spontaneity – is sacrilegious and a no-no, especially by mother superior-types.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Win a $200 Pumpkin Patch voucher

Fill out this quick survey and tell us in 25 words or less your best pregnancy or parenting tip - you'll go in the draw to win a $200 Pumpkin Patch voucher.

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Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

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Losing yourself to motherhood

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The first ever Essential Baby Awards, celebrating the best in baby products. We’re inviting you to have your say. Simply vote for your favourite products to win a $5000 VISA debit card.

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Why I invited a dozen people to watch my son's birth

I sent invitations on burgundy scrapbooking paper stamped with a field of poppies, and told each person why I wanted him or her there. I warned that there would be nudity.

Getting labour started: tips for a natural induction

When your baby’s due date comes and goes without so much as a pop - let alone a bang - it can be disheartening. Mums and a doula share their stories of natural inductions.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend – me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum – I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

That's my boy: a dad's diary of the first 4 months

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Congratulations are in order for Aussie actress Isla Fisher and her husband, Sacha Baron Cohen.

Vote to win

What are your favourite baby products?

The first ever Essential Baby Awards, celebrating the best in baby products. We’re inviting you to have your say. Simply vote for your favourite products to win a $5000 VISA debit card.