Despite widespread concerns about the availability and affordability of child care for infants under two years of age , there is little Australian research which focuses specifically on child care usage and costs for this group of children. This study seeks to fill this gap by analysing unit record data from the 1999 and 2002 Child Care Surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to examine trends in the use and costs of child care for children under two years of age. We focus on this time period because it allows us to assess the possible impact of the introduction of the Child Care Benefit in July 2000. Using descriptive and multivariate analyses, we found that a significantly greater percentage of those very young children using any child care were in formal care in 2002 than in 1999. We also found that costs of formal care to parents fell very slightly in real terms over the period, while demand for additional formal care rose slightly, mostly due to reported difficulties with availability of care. We found a number of differences in usage and cost trends for different family types, with low income and single parent families increasing their use of formal child care services more than the average, and experiencing a fall in real costs of care.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 35th Australian Conference of Economists|
|Place of Publication||Australia|
|Publisher||Curtin University, Perth WA.|
|Number of pages||29|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
|Event||35th Australian Conference of Economists - Perth, Australia|
Duration: 25 Sep 2006 → 27 Sep 2006
|Conference||35th Australian Conference of Economists|
|Period||25/09/06 → 27/09/06|
McNamara, J., & CASSELLS, R. (2006). Child care for infants: trends and usage and costs, 1999 to 2002. In Proceedings of the 35th Australian Conference of Economists (pp. 1-29). Australia: Curtin University, Perth WA..