Ella Bates-Hermans The notion of “free” childcare is a myth. Early childhood education is not just expensive – it can even be difficult to find a spot in a quality centre. National Correspondent Michelle Duff reports in the latest from an investigation into childcare . She’s working 16-hour shifts to support her family, but nurse Maima Tapumanaia can’t sleep for worrying about who will care for her youngest baby. “My heart is thumping, I’m just terrified,” says Tapumanaia, watching Litia, 23 months, happily playing in the sandpit on the closing day of her current child care centre. “She’ll be the youngest at her new place, there’s just two teachers in between 20 kids, and I can’t start her there for three weeks,” she says. “I can’t work at all, but I can’t lose my job. I don’t know what we’ll do.” READ MORE: 'When will you be home, daddy?': The hard-working fathers struggling to see their babies 'We’re surviving, I wouldn’t say we’re thriving': What parenting … [Read more...] about She works 16-hour shifts looking after the sick. Why won’t anyone take care of her baby?
12 hours of sleep
A family-of-four with a disabled daughter sleeping in the same room as her parents claim they are "stuck" in a cramped two-bedroom house after being refused a home swap with another social housing tenant. Desperate Andrew Vincent claims Lincolnshire Housing Partnership is not allowing them to formally swap homes with a couple who live nearby in Grimbsy. The couple has a three-bedroom house and wish to downsize, but the council are refusing on the grounds that if they moved into the two-bed house, it would be "under-occupied" by the couple. Mr Vincent said this is despite the fact that their home is currently over-occupied, with their four-year-old daughter Lilly- who has Down's Syndrome and learning difficulties - having to share a bedroom with her parents. He told Grimsby Live : "We've been trying to get a mutual exchange into a bigger house because we're a family of four in a two-bedroom house and we've got a disabled daughter. The family is desperate to move ( … [Read more...] about Desperate family stuck in two-bed home after council refuses to let them swap
I. T hey had been driving for hours, and the city still hadn’t loosened its grimy hold. Now there were bungalows and shops that clung to both sides of the highway; roadside tea stalls with corrugated roofs, where truck drivers stopped to stretch their legs; bustling townships that only a few years ago had been villages of mud huts, their walls covered with circular cowpats; new tollbooths, petrol bunks, and hotels promising hot water and clean rooms. It wasn’t until the family in the car saw the first wisp of cloud hanging over the hillside that they felt they had finally broken free. The father switched off the air conditioner and rolled down his window. He had recently bought a white Maruti Zen. The fingertips of his left hand guided the steering wheel, exerting the mildest pressure, letting the car do the rest. At 39 years old, he had recently been promoted to bank-branch manager. The past three summers, around the time when the heat in the city grew fangs, he’d taken his … [Read more...] about Hill Station