Proposed $20 Medicare fee axed

Government cuts to medicare rebates could unnecessarily drive patients in to emergency departments, or make them forgo treatment

Joanna Heath Health minister Sussan Ley has used her first press conference in the role to announce the government will dump planned cuts to GP fees for visits under 10 minutes.

New $20 GP fee: health charge changes explained

Medicare

JULIA MEDEW Why are patients facing a new $20 charge for visiting their GP?

New GP co-payment scheme a triple whammy for patients

Under three new changes to the GP payment plan, the big losers will be ordinary patients.

Stephen Duckett and Peter Breadon Under three new changes to the GP payment plan - one of which has already come into effect - the big losers will be ordinary patients.

Comments

'As a mother I wasn't given a look in': the female funding fiasco

Louisa Forrest found it hard as a female to convince banks to come on board.

Claire Dunn Why are women are often seen by lenders as 'fly-by', rather than serious business owners?

Comments

It's official: the $7 GP co-payment plan has been axed

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the government's planned GP fee does not have the support needed to pass the Senate.

LISA COX Days after announcing that his paid parental scheme is undergoing a major overhaul, Tony Abbott has confirmed that the plan to charge patients $7 per doctor's visit has been axed.

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Confusion as Abbott refines paid parental leave scheme

Tony Abbott has morning tea with local families in a Sydney cafe.

JUDITH IRELAND Prime Minister Tony Abbott has moved to water down his paid parental leave scheme amid worries he'll ignore support for stay-at-home mothers in the process.

The job interview question I always answer with a lie

Job interview

KASEY EDWARDS "What if I get a question about babies?" asked a childless, but clucky younger woman I'm mentoring before a job interview. My response is unequivocal: lie.

Comments

Study: Women with children are most productive at work

working mum

Ylan Q. Mui A word of encouragement for working mums: a study says you are actually more productive than your childless peers.

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Should you have a third child or not?

Tanika Davis I thought our family had been complete with our two boys. I had no idea how much I needed my daughter until she was here.

My children's warped sense of work

phone mum

KYLIE ORR I’ve wrestled with the 'working from home' thing, and have wondered about the impact it will have on my children’s working lives.

Comments

Paid parental leave scheme grinds to a halt

The Federal Government's much-hyped Paid Parental Leave scheme appears to have stalled.

MARK KENNY The future of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme appears to be up in the air, despite the fact it is due to begin in less than nine months.

Comments

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.

Comments

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.

Comments

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.

Comments

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.

Comments 3

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.

Comments

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.

Comments

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?

Comments

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

generic.   Working Mother

Part Time Worker

6-12 Months

0-6 Months

Only Young Women

Only Women

Fashion Industry

White Collar Worker

Mothers Day

25-30 Years

Mother

Fashion Model

Professional Occupation

Gripping

Supporting

Briefcase

20's

Fashion

Women

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Carrying

Holding

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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.

Comments

'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.

Comments

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?

Comments

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.

Comments

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.

Comments 1

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.

Comments

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.

Comments 1

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.

Comments 6

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.

Trial of flexible childcare a flop Centrelink denies carer benefits to Finn Smith's family Women on maternity leave facing 'second baby effect' Millions of children to benefit from Medicare dental scheme Abbott government won't rule out GP co-payments 'Why can't mums play for Australia?' Balancing family and a start-up Studying after parenthood Childcare workers asked to hand back wage rise The truth about the working parent juggle A third of childcare centres not meeting benchmarks Abbott flags major review of childcare system How Collette Dinnigan quit for her family Deciding not to return to work post-baby One in four Australian households now has a woman as main income earner Childcare red tape is keeping children safe 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

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Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Five-year-old shoots nine-month-old brother dead

A nine-month-old baby boy died on Monday after he was shot in the head by his five-year-old brother in their grandfather's home.

'Is that baby yours?'

She is my daughter. I gave birth to her. I nurse her. But she doesn't have any of my genes.

Episiotomy in childbirth: not just 'a little snip'

Episiotomies have a place in maternity care – and can occasionally save lives – but should not be performed routinely.

Toddler aggression not caused by language delays after all: study

The logic was that children who don’t have the language to fully express themselves will lash out when they’re misunderstood. Not anymore.

Why we chose to adopt a child with Down sydrome

Everyone in foster care (and really in life) has something that makes them more vulnerable. We just know what our son's is.

Object of desire

Curvy mums make clever babies

Scientists appear to have discovered why women have evolved to have more curves than men – shapely thighs and bottoms lead to healthier babies.

'We'll make sure they know how much she loved them'

A first-time mum will never get to hold her four newborns, dying shortly after giving birth to the quadruplets.

The baby names NZ knocked back in 2014

A New Zealander has tried to name their baby Senior Constable but didn't get away with it - and numbering children is also a no-no.

How can you go into labour without knowing you're pregnant?

For most of us, the idea that a woman could carry a child to full-term without knowing she is pregnant is mind-boggling.

Will you get to the hospital in time?

Worrying your baby will be delivered by the roadside is a common concern for many mothers-to-be. So how likely are you to be caught short?

Video: Funny 'Lips Are Moving' parody just for mums

Meghan Trainor's song 'Lips Are Moving' was already a hit, but now it's been turned into a hilarious parody that is set to be very popular with frustrated mums everywhere.

Out with the clutter

Decluttering by the numbers: take the 30-day challenge

Forget the 5:2 diet - Twitter's 30-day declutter challenge will have your house back in shape in no time (well, a month).

Parents, don't be too hard on yourselves

We need to stop damning parents of today, and embrace their appetite for knowledge instead.

Is my baby normal?

There are chubby Buddha babies and there are thin, smaller babies. Neither are right or wrong, they are all 'normal'.

When an older sibling starts school

When one child goes to ‘big school’ and leaves the other behind, it can cause deep upset. Here's how to make the transition easier.

Stray cat saves abandoned baby

They say dogs are man's best friend, but one cat has proven felines can be just as devoted to their human companions.

How strangers are helping a mum's wish come true after her death

A mum of five, Liz Marquez wanted to breastfeed her premmie son for a year. So when she passed away suddenly, her friends - and strangers - stepped in to help.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

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

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Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

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Wait lists too long at OSHC? Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.