Child care and early childhood education

Our research expertise

In the years before children start school and then over the primary school years, Australian families inevitably need to make child care arrangements (within family networks or outside of the family - in child care centres). Working out child care arrangements can be a struggle for parents. Child care is also valued for the developmental and social opportunities it gives children. Early child education (such as pre-school) is especially valued for these reasons and can be an alternative to child care for some families. 

AIFS research on child care arrangements has focused on:

  • child care and maternal employment participation
  • children's experiences of child care
  • school-aged care including care for children in school holidays
  • children's participation in early childhood education
  • grandparents.

Current projects

Maternal employment trends and transitions
Explores the trends in mothers' employment participation and the characteristics of mothers' employment.

Evaluation of the Australian Government's Child Care Package


Jennifer Baxter
Senior Research Fellow

Kelly Hand 
Deputy Director, Research

More information

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