Department of Family and Community Services

3.2 Childcare

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Use of and need for childcare by employed parents

Current position

In 2011, 63 percent of couple families with children 12 years and under and where both parents were employed used childcare of some type to assist with their childcare responsibilities. The percentage was significantly greater for employed single parents, among whom 84 percent used some type of care.

Informal care was more frequently used than formal care among both groups. Informal care was relied on at much higher rates by single parents.

The direction of change
over time
No historic data is available for this indicator.
Discussion

Formal care (long day care and before and after school care) was used by roughly 30 percent of employed couple and single parents. Pre-school, which often has more restrictive hours than long day care, was used more commonly by couple families (90 percent) with only 61 percent of single families using it for children aged 4 to 5 years.

Informal care, however, was used by three-quarters of single parent families, indicating the importance of family and community support in facilitating paid employment for this group. Less than half of employed couple families used informal care.

Among informal care providers, grandparents are by far the most important, accounting for over half of informal care for both types of families.

Between 3 percent (where children were not using care) and 9 percent (where children were using care) of people reported needing additional pre-school or formal care for their children 12 years of age and under. See Table 4.4.

Formal care is regulated care away from the child's home. It includes long day care, family day care, before and after school care and occasional care. Informal care is unregulated care (including by a nanny) either in the child's home or elsewhere.

Year collected: 2011.
Data source: ABS (2012) Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2011. Cat no. 4402. More information is available at www.abs.gov.au

Table 4.4 Types of childcare used and needed by NSW families, 2011

Children aged 0 to 12 years Couple family (both parents employed) % One parent family (parent employed) % 
Usually attended care 6384
Did not usually attend care 3716
Type of care 
Before and/or after school care 1118
Long day care 189
Total formal care 3129
Grandparent 3440
Non-resident parent 231
Other relative 715
Other person 910
Total informal care 4674
Children aged 4 to 5 years not in school Couple family % One parent family % 
Usually attended preschool 9061
Did not usually attend preschool 10* 39* 
Children aged 0 to 12 years (all families) Additional preschool or formal care is currently required % 
Usually attended formal care or preschool 9
Usually attended informal care only 5
Did not usually attend care or preschool 3

Note: Formal care is regulated care away from the child’s home. It includes long day care, family day care, before and after school care and occasional care. Informal care is unregulated care (including by a nanny) either in the child’s home or elsewhere. Not all forms are shown and note that some children may attend several forms of care.
Population: NSW families with children aged 0 to 12 years.
Source: ABS (2012) Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2011. Cat no. 4402.0.