Child Care Package Evaluation

Current project

This project is evaluating the Australian Government's new child care package.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is leading a consortium of researchers to evaluate the Australian Government’s new Child Care Package (the Package).

The evaluation has been commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Education (formerly the Department of Education and Training) to report on the outcomes and impacts of the Package for families, services and providers. The evaluation is drawing on a range of information collected and analysed over three years starting in 2018. This includes information collected from surveys with parents, services (Directors or Managers) and interviews with providers and other key stakeholders. It also involves analyses of administrative data.

AIFS’ partners are:

  • the Centre for Social Research and Methods (CSRM) at the Australian National University (ANU)
  • the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at the University of New South Wales
  • the Social Research Centre (SRC).

If you would like to find out more about the evaluation, please add your email to our contact list, and we will periodically send an update on evaluation activities.

Access more information online about the Early childhood and child care package.

You can also read about the project in our brochure: 

Download the Child Care Package Evaluation brochure [PDF 852 KB]

Child Care Package Evaluation Framework

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is leading an evaluation of the Child Care Package that was implemented on 2 July 2018. The evaluation has been commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Education to better understand the effects of the reforms on services and families, and to monitor the progress of the reforms as they are implemented.

The Child Care Package: Evaluation Framework outlines the key objectives against which the Package is being evaluated.

This June 2018 version of the Evaluation Framework updates the version published in May 2018. This updated version includes information about additional evaluation work for the In Home Care Program and the Inclusion Support Program.

Download Child Care Package: Evaluation Framework [PDF 0.7MB].

Data collection

A series of case studies is being conducted in order to better understand how the Child Care Package is experienced by child care services and communities. These case studies involve interviews with local stakeholders; child care service directors, administrators and educators; families who use child care; and families who do not use child care. These case studies will continue in different locations across Australia in 2020. 

Data collections with families also contribute to the evaluation, including the Child Care Package Family Survey and surveys about the In Home Care program (see below). Other data are being collected through online discussion boards and interviews with parents and carers, conducted by the Social Research Centre.

Child Care Package Family Survey

Two waves of the Child Care Package Family Survey have now been completed, with a final wave planned for mid 2020. The randomly selected gift card recipients have been notified. We thank all the families who participated in the surveys and shared their experiences of the Child Care Package.

Survey of Early Learning and Care Services

The Survey of Early Learning and Care Services asked a sample of service managers and directors about the experiences of transitioning to the new package, and any impacts of the Package on the service and its families. Two waves of this survey have now been completed, in June 2018 and June and July 2019. Thank you to all who responded to this survey. A final wave of data collection is planned for early 2020.

Surveys of In Home Care services, educators and families

Two waves of surveys have been conducted to evaluate the In Home Care program, in February-March 2019 and December 2019-January 2020. Families, services and educators were asked about their experiences of In Home Care and the impacts of both the changes to the program and the Child Care Package more broadly.  These surveys have now closed and randomly selected gift card recipients have been notified. Thank you to all who have participated.

Child Care Package Stakeholder Survey

The Child Care Package Stakeholder Survey was conducted in July 2019. The survey invited stakeholders including community organisations representing families and children, child care peak bodies and relevant disability advocacy organisations to report on their views and experiences of the Child Care Package, and the effects on the groups or people they represent. This survey is now closed and we thank all those who contributed.

Publications

Researchers

Duration

December 2017 – December 2021

Funding sources

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