4402.0 - Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2014 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/04/2015   
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28 April 2015

Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Grandparents are the main providers of informal care for children of working parents

According to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), grandparents provide child care for almost one-third of children of working parents. In June 2014, 30 per cent of children with two working parents received care from a grandparent.

Patrick Corr from the ABS said this was a similar figure to children in employed single parent families.

“31 per cent of children received child care from a grandparent in these families.” said Mr Corr. “Also, one-fifth of children in these families received care from a parent who lives elsewhere.

“In families where the youngest child usually attended some form of child care, 76 per cent of female parents and 94 per cent of male parents worked.

“This is compared with 45 per cent and 88 per cent respectively in families where the youngest child did not attend care.”

Of all children aged 0-12 years, just under half (1.8 million) attended some form of child care. One third of children attended informal care and one quarter formal care. The main form of informal care was care by grandparents (22 per cent) and the principal type of formal care was at a long day care centre (14 per cent).

“The report found more female parents than male parents use alternative work arrangements to care for their children," said Mr Corr “with 71 per cent of women compared with 41 per cent of men using these arrangements.

“The most common arrangements used by female parents were flexible work (39 per cent), part time work (38 per cent) and work at home (19 per cent).”

Further details are in 2014 Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2014 (cat. no. 4402.0), available for free download from https://www.abs.gov.au.

Media notes:
  • Informal care types include care by (step) brothers or sisters, grandparents, other relatives (including a parent who lives elsewhere) and care by other people such as friends, neighbours, nannies or babysitters.
  • Formal care types include Before and after school care, Long day care, Family day care and Occasional care.
  • Child care includes both formal and informal care. A child may attend multiple types of formal and informal care, and appear in the reported figures for each type.
  • When reporting ABS data the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.