Towards integration and quality assurance in children's services

AIFS Early Childhood Study Paper no. 6


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Content type
Research report

December 1995

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This book focuses on questions such as: Why do people use child care? What sorts of services are available? Who sets the standards and at what cost to governments, industry and families? The author calls for a rationalisation of children's services and an end to the fragmentation caused by having too many players and regulators in the field. She argues for the development of an integrated national children's services industry that better reflects the needs of today's families. The author outlines the present child care system, the role of governments in child care, outcomes for child care, evaluation and encouragement of quality in child care services, and integration and coordination of children's services.


  1. Introduction
    • The changing context of child care
  2. The Present Child Care System
    • Classification of services
    • Description of services
    • Why people use child care
    • Present patterns of usage
    • Changes in patterns of usage since 1983
  3. The Role of Governments in Child Care
    • Commonwealth involvement 1983-1993
    • Commonwealth goals for child care
    • National child care advisory bodies
    • Government funding
    • The cost of child care to families
    • Planning for children's services
    • Commonwealth policy initiatives
    • Economic review of child care
    • Functional Review of Child Care
  4. Outcomes for Child Care
    • Problems and emerging issues
    • Funding and affordability
    • Types of funding
    • Emergence of the issue of quality
  5. Quality in Child Care Services
    • Problems with definitions of quality
    • Statutory definitions of quality
    • Quality as defined by research and practice
    • Components of quality in child care
    • Components that contribute to quality
    • Components that determine quality
    • Assessment of program quality
    • Equality in child care
  6. Propagating Quality
    • National Child Care Centre Standards
    • The role of regulations and accreditation
    • Accreditation and Family Day Care
    • Accreditation  today
    • Summary
  7. Towards Integration and Quality Assurance in Children's Services
    • Integration and coordination of children's services
    • Evaluation and monitoring of children's services
    • A national perspective
    • Development of a national child care industry
  8. Appendix
    • 1991 Functional Review of Child Care
  9. List of References
  10. AIFS Early Childhood Study