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Family Matters No. 64 - May 2003

Continuity of care in the early years?

Multiple and changeable child care arrangements
Jennifer Bowes, Sarah Wise, Linda Harrison, Ann Sanson, Judy Ungerer, Johanna Watson and Tracey Simpson

Abstract

Continuity of care is seen as an important aspect of quality child care for children in the early years of life. Yet previous studies suggest that up to a third of Australian children in their first three years attend two or more care settings a week. A new study shows that use of multiple child care arrangements in which arrangements involving two or more concurrent non maternal child care arrangements on a regular basis across seven days, and changes in care arrangements, are relatively common. In this article, the authors ask what the implications are for the quality of care experienced by these children.  

Continuity of care is seen as an important aspect of quality child care for children in the early years of life. Yet previous studies suggest that up to a third of Australian children in their first three years attend two or more care settings a week. A new study shows that use of multiple child care arrangements in which arrangements involving two or more concurrent non maternal child care arrangements on a regular basis across seven days, and changes in care arrangements, are relatively common. In this article, the authors ask what the implications are for the quality of care experienced by these children.  

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