My income barely covers daycare, but I won’t stop working

daycare

Meredith Hale I tell myself I’ve achieved some semblance of work/life balance. But what I don’t have, according to my tax return, is any money to show for it.

Comments

Nanny pilot program to go ahead

Scott Morrison

JUDITH IRELAND The Abbott government has confirmed that there will be federal funding for nannies under a pilot program that is likely to roll out later this year. 

Childcare is a big problem, but there's more to it

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Megan Blandford Let’s keep talking about these issues and not allow them to be put into a neat little box that’s labelled ‘Fix childcare and everything is solved’.

The health insurance advice you can't afford to ignore

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NICOLE PEDERSEN-MCKINNON There's one simple switch that could save you hundreds of dollars a year in private health insurance.

How to babyproof your job interview

Preparing for a job interview after spending time at home with your baby can be daunting.

Masha Rumer Once upon a time, I was a fan of job interviews. That all changed after I'd switched careers, had a baby and decided to spend the first year at home with her.

Getting creative to cut childcare costs

What can families do to beat the childcare blues? For some, the answer is to get creative.

PINKY MCKAY What can families do to beat the childcare budget blues? For some, the answer is to get creative.

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.

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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.

Comments 7

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Comments 2

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.

Comments

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.

Comments 26

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.

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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?

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.

Comments 6

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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20-25 Years

Carrying

Holding

Baby

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

Overweight people could pay more for health cover How the Commission of Audit would affect my family How Abbott's PPL scheme will cost women too much Tony Abbott amends paid parental leave scheme Half of all mums experience discrimination at work 'Shocking' treatment of pregnant women at work Updating your resume after parental leave Life as a 'latte papa' in Sweden 'Employers see mums as a risk' Childcare issues contributing to major productivity concerns Abbott firm on paid parental leave scheme, but will it really go ahead? Fighting for the right to lean out, or why I hate Sheryl Sandberg Childcare rebate vital to working parents 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

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Be inspired by Australian mums who have created their own businesses.

How to talk about your pregnancy at work

The workplace isn't always a friendly place for pregnant women. Yet working women inclined to conceal a pregnancy from prying coworkers may be better off opening up and carrying on, according to a new study.

Tell us your story to win!

To celebrate Mother's Day this year we are giving you the chance to win one of five great prizes simply by telling us your story.

Where to get help to help your baby sleep

There is so much pressure about having a baby who sleeps 'all night' , it's no wonder you worry about your baby if she wakes in the night.

Vintage baby names having a comeback

What makes some names have comebacks while others silently fade into oblivion? A few factors come into play.

When your partner doesn't want you to breastfeed

Dads can have many reasons for not wanting their partners to breastfeed their baby, but both parents should learn more about it before making a final decision.

Model mum Sarah Stage shares post-baby selfie

Most new mums would recoil at the thought, but Sarah Stage has shared a post-pregnancy selfie just four days after giving birth.

I'll admit it: I have last child parenting fatigue

If you're a new mum and feeling ignored by the older mum/the old hand/the has-been, please know, it's not you, it's me. Blame the last child parenting fatigue.

Exhaustion is not the same as tiredness

Having a new baby isn't tiring - it can be downright exhausting.

Five posterior babies, four home births

I was on a high. I'd done it all by myself with no help from anyone.

Mum's list of birthday gift demands goes viral

We're big fans of kids' birthday parties - but this is one bash we're glad we didn't get an invite to.

Kate Middleton to receive 'loyalty discount' for second birth

Everybody loves a bargain - including the Duchess of Cambridge.

Fish & chip shop owner's sad note goes viral

A lengthy note put on the window of a fish & chip shop has gone viral due to the writer's serious doubts about the romance of travel.

Pregnant women need good nutrition advice, not judgment

Pregnant women are under pressure to do all the "right things" to have a healthy child. It results in women feeling judged about their decisions.

When your child wants you to have another baby

Giving your child a sibling when you don't want to have another baby can be a complex issue.

William Tyrrell's mum speaks out: 'We hope he is still alive'

The mother of missing toddler William Tyrrell says she has a vision that somebody "picked him up and moved him on ... that's the only way ... to explain for him not to be there".

Family comes first for 23-year-old Tommy Connolly

Most 23-year-old blokes spend their hard earned cash on fun times with mates or romantic dinners with their girlfriend, but not Tommy Connolly.

Newborn all-girl quintuplets 'doing great'

The first all-female quintuplets born in the United States were delivered last week, at 28 weeks and two days.

Model mum's big baby silences critics

He may be less than a week old, but baby James Hunter has already helped his model mum silence her critics.

Jammy, Hula Hoop, Rage: Reddit reveals most unusual baby names

A recent Reddit thread has revealed some of the more creative names in the world.

Woman awakens from coma, learns she gave birth

A US woman awakened this week from a four-month-long coma that doctors had feared would be permanent and learned that she had given birth to a baby boy, according to her family.

'Give us a break': mum sent shocking letter over Facebook baby pics

Posting a lot of baby photos doesn't make you a bad person. It may make your Facebook feed a little irritating, but it doesn't make you a bad person.

In defense of the dads who do so much

It's time to shift the focus off what dads aren’t doing and shine it on what they are.

The modern cloth nappies too cute to cover up

If you're only just joining the modern cloth nappy movement, or would like to spruce up your collection, we have to introduce you to Designer Bums.

How breastfeeding can affect your libido

When you’ve just had a baby, having sex isn’t usually top priority. In fact, for a lot of women it rates about as appealing as changing another dirty nappy.

Should pregnant women be allowed to use 'parent and child' car parking spots?

Is it acceptable to use these car parking spots when pregnant? How many of us would admit to doing it?

Healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man died

Fertility doctors have described their "most extraordinary case" - creating a healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man had died.

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

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You have less than a week left to win your child one of five Fisher-Price toy packs valued at over $600 each - hurry, enter today!

Childcare is a big problem, but there's more to it

Let’s keep talking about these issues and not allow them to be put into a neat little box that’s labelled ‘Fix childcare and everything is solved’.

Pink's awesome response to body-shaming trolls

When trolls felt the need to comment on 35-year-old singer-songwriter Pink's weight, her answer was an awesome ode to body love.

Fertility clinic offers egg donors $5000

A national chain of fertility clinics is offering egg donors a $5000 payment to cover their expenses, a first for Australia which is raising concerns the money could act as an inducement.

Baby boy abandoned in India amid fresh surrogacy concerns

Australian officials could do nothing to stop an Australian couple from abandoning their baby son, born through surrogacy in India, after they decided they did not want to bring him to Australia.

Herd immunity and community responsibility: how free-riders can make kids suffer

Individual choice works for haircuts and handbags, but not for preventing infectious diseases that kill kids.

Photographer captures 'unexpected beauty' of birth

If there is one thing Leilani Rogers knows about childbirth, it is that no two deliveries are ever the same.

Expectations vs the reality of making a toddler's clothes

Note to self: less sewing, more life. Not the party dress, but the party. The toddler, as usual, has it all figured out.

Mum meets 'dead' daughter 49 years after birth

In 1965, Zella Jackson-Price was told her premature baby girl had died shortly after birth.

How pregnancy probiotics can help you and your baby

New research suggests that taking specific pregnancy probiotics could be the answer to a range of common pregnancy side effects.

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