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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]

Data collection

The evaluation includes a number of different data collections. 

The Survey of Early Learning and Care Services asks 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 it’s families. The Social Research Centre (SRC) is working with AIFS to conduct this survey. This June and July, SRC will invite a sample of Directors and Managers in services across Australia to complete the survey. They will approach all services that completed Wave 1 of the survey last year, as well as some additional services.

A series of case studies will be conducted in order to better understand how the Child Care Package is experienced by childcare 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 have commenced, and will continue in different locations across Australia in 2019 and 2020. 

Interviews with stakeholders are designed to obtain insights into the early impacts of the Child Care Package for services and families, as well as the experiences of providers, services and families. These interviews commenced in 2018 and continue in 2019. As well as interviews designed to explore issues about the overall Child Care Package, additional interviews contribute to the evaluations of the In Home Care program and the Inclusion Support Programme.  

Data collections with parents also contribute to the evaluation, including the Child Care Package Family Survey (see below). Other data have been collected through an online discussion board, through the Social Research Centre.  

Child Care Package Evaluation Framework

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is leading an evaluation of the new child care package that is being implemented from 2 July 2018. The evaluation has been commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Education to better understand the impacts of the reforms on services and families, and to monitor their progress as the reforms are being implemented.

The following document, Child Care Package: Evaluation Framework, outlines the key objectives against which the Package is to be 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].

Survey of parents and carers

The Child Care Package Family Survey was conducted in November 2018, and is now closed. This online survey asked selected parents and carers about their transition to the new child care subsidy, and about whether their child care use and cost has changed since July 2018. The five randomly selected recipients of gift vouchers were notified; we thank all families who participated. We plan to do a second wave of this survey in 2019.

Surveys of In Home Care services and families

There were two surveys related to In Home Care conducted in February 2019, one for services and one for families involved in the program. Both surveys are now closed. The randomly selected recipients of gift vouchers were notified. We thank all families and services who participated. We plan to do additional data collection about In Home Care in 2020.

Researchers

Duration

December 2017 – December 2021

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