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Author Archives: Loren Smith

Kids a priority for lobby against alcohol abuse

“Nothing good happens after midnight.” Michael Thorn, chief executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), drops this aphorism in a conversation about lockout laws. The erosion of lockout laws, and how it affects the wellbeing of children, ...

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Expert says school-start jitters avoidable

Across Australia, four, five and six-year-olds are feeling anxious, exhilarated, or possibly both. Their first day of ‘big school’ is imminent. Although this year goes by various names – prep, kindergarten, year K – there is one commonality: parental uncertainty ...

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Preschool is black jellybean of education funding mix

Education funding, like a bag of mixed lollies, is a medley. There are the preferenced red raspberries: universities; the average pineapples: the VET sector and schools; and, of course, the ill-favoured black jellybeans: preschools. This is the upshot of the Mitchell Institute ...

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Adopted babies recall their mother tongue: research

Though they may equally yearn for poffertjes, Korean-born Dutch babies are more likely to be able to pronounce kimchi than their Netherlands-born counterparts, an international research team has found. Their study, published in Royal Society Open Science, asked Dutch adoptees, ...

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Childcare educators blamed for rising costs

Liberal Democratic senator David Leyonhjelm has a new enemy: childcare educators. He described their role as “wiping noses and stopping the kids from killing each other”, and proceeded to blame escalating childcare fees on the industry’s professionalisation. “They brought in ...

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Go bush with kids this summer, academics urge

Yesterday, six-month-old Leila enjoyed her first ocean swim at Sydney’s Bronte Beach. She squealed with delight as her toes were dipped into the icy water, her smile as broad as the dusky horizon. Aside from her pleasure, there are other ...

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Study finds womb for epigenetic twin variation

In a real-life daytime television-friendly tale, two sets of separated-at-birth identical Columbian twins – each living with the wrong twin – have been reunited. But that’s not the astounding part of the story. Scientists studied their genes and found that, ...

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Nanny trial will be scaled down

The federal government is drastically scaling back its trial subsidies of nanny fees after underwhelming interest in the scheme. The number of places will be cut from 3000 to just 500, with applications to take part closing from January 1, ...

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