Child Care in the Spotlight Results of our 2017 Child Care & Workforce Participation Survey are in

Library Home  >  Leadership & Service ManagementService Enhancements & Market Insights from CareforKids.com.au
  Published on Tuesday, 09 May 2017

Child Care in the Spotlight Results of our 2017 Child Care & Workforce Participation Survey are in

Library Home  >  Leadership & Service ManagementService Enhancements & Market Insights from CareforKids.com.au
  Published on Tuesday, 09 May 2017

The 2017 CareforKids.com.au Child Care and Workforce Participation Survey has just closed and we are in the process of analysing the results. Just shy of 2000 Australian parents and carers completed the survey this year offering valuable insight and experiences. We look forward to sharing our findings with you over the coming weeks.

The Best Bits!

What we know:

The vast majority of our respondents were women living in suburban areas, with children in a long day care centre for more than 7 hours per days, three-five days a week, while family members work.

The good news is more than 61 per cent of respondents said it took them four months or fewer to find care. Just 13 per cent of you said it took 12 months or more, which is a slight improvement on the 15 per cent of respondents who answered last year’s survey. Let’s hope we see a further reduction on this trend in next year’s results.

Interestingly close to 80 per cent of survey respondents said they prefer their child care to be close to home with more than 54 per cent saying they would travel up to 5km to attend a particular child care service.

Types of care being used:

  • Child care centres - 79%
  • Grandparents - 19%
  • Before/ After school care - 12%
  • Family day care - 12%
  • Preschool/ Prep / Kinder - 8%
  • Nanny / Au Pair / Babysitter - 8%

Behind long day care centres, grandparents and other family members were the second most common type of child care, accounting for 19 per cent of responses. This could be due to the cost of child care, which is the number one thing parents would change about their current child care service (57 per cent). Unsurprisingly, a resounding 68 per cent of respondents said families using grandparent carers should be eligible for payment.

The cost of care

71 per cent of families say that this accounts for up to 30 per cent of the family income.

Our survey indicates that $100-$120 per day (before CCB and CCR) is the average cost of care these days, but 29 per cent of the parents who completed our survey said they are paying $120 plus with 5 per cent over the $200 per day threshold. For 71 per cent of families this accounts for up to 30 per cent of the family income.

Results show that parents and carers are still struggling to come to grips with the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate systems. 16 per cent of respondents said they have given up completely, while 65 per cent said they find it confusing but that they get there in the end. With changes on the horizon and the proposal of a unified subsidy we can only hope the new system is more straightforward than what currently exists.

Despite the eye-watering cost of child care parents and carers are on the whole pretty happy with their providers and 65 per cent said they would rate their provider as 'Excellent' in terms of quality of care, safety and services. Another 33 per cent said they would give an 'Average' rating with just 2 per cent choose 'Poor'.

Balancing life as a working parent 

Shift workers and people who work non-standard hours are still struggling to find care, despite initiatives such as the Nanny Pilot Program and the extension of operating hours for some family day care services. 31 per cent of people who responded to our survey work non-standard hours and of that number 64 per cent struggled to find suitable child care.

We added a new question to the survey this year on vaccination rules for kids in child care in light of Prime Minister’s continued focus on tightening 'No Jab No Play' legislation. 91 per cent of respondents to our survey said unvaccinated children should be banned from child care suggesting widespread support for the tougher rules.

Our next batch of results will focus on workforce participation rates among working parents, including parental leave pay, flexible work, work life balance and more.


Thank you to everyone who took part in this year's survey. Because of your participation $1,855 will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Also a HUGE congratulations to Michelle Elliott from NSW who won the iPad Mini.

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Wednesday, 14 October 2020



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