Childcare survey reveals inequities

Available, affordable, high-quality care is still out of reach for many families.
 
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04.Finding childcare

Respondents' comments

  • “I had to accept a centre that I’m not comfortable with as that was the only one available.”
    - Donna, NSW.
  • “It’s not about us choosing the best place for our child, more we have to take what we can get, if anything!”
    - Cherry, NSW.
  • “Everything is owned by ABC.”
    - Greg, SA.
  • “I’ve always found … a [daycare centre] spot immediately. I’ve used three separate daycares and have always gone back to ABC.”
    - Phoebe, Queensland.

What they're using

  • A commercial childcare centre was the most common type used by our respondents: 57% said they’d used one.
  • 35% said they’d used community-based/not-for-profit centres.
  • 16% family daycare (some had used more than one type).
  • Other options our respondents had used included family and friends (quite a large 28%, which may in itself say something about the availability and cost of other childcare), a live-in or live-out nanny or undefined ‘other’ type.

Why they're using it

Users of all three major kinds of publicly available childcare said recommendations from others influenced their choices, and convenient location was not surprisingly a significant factor in the decision too.

Users of family daycare (where children are cared for in a private home, usually under a system run by the local council or other community group) were significantly more likely to have chosen this form of childcare because of cost (49%).

73% of those who’d used commercial childcare said they’d chosen it for its convenient location (it was the highest-rating reason for this type).

Another high-rating reason for using commercial childcare was good premises (60%).

However, significantly more commercial childcare users (45%) said they’d chosen this type of care because it was the only one available, compared to 28% of community-based/not-for-profit childcare users and 29% of family daycare users.

This suggests some parents may be choosing a commercial childcare centre because there’s no other option available, rather than out of choice.

Survey respondents showed more confidence in the quality of staff in community-based/not-for- profit childcare and family daycare than for commercial daycare: 72% of the former and 55% of the latter nominated it as a reason for choosing this type of care — it was the reason most often nominated for choosing these two types.

52% of commercial centre users named quality of staff as a reason for choosing them (a significant difference in this survey), in this case well behind convenient location and good premises.

 

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