Notes on the data: Child care: unpaid

Unpaid child care provided by people aged 15 years and over, 2011

 

Policy context:  Unpaid work fulfils many important functions that directly affect the wellbeing and quality of people's lives; and also contributes substantially to the economy. In 1997, the value of unpaid work was estimated at $261 billion - approximately half of the total gross domestic product [1].

In the 2011 Census, 27.8% of people aged 15 years and over provided some kind of unpaid child care in the previous two weeks [2]. This includes people caring for their own children, whether they usually live with them or not. It also includes people looking after other children, such as grandchildren, the children of other relatives, or the children of friends or neighbours. Care for a child given through an organisation or club is excluded.

These data are useful in the planning of local facilities and services such as day-care and occasional care, and in understanding the way individuals and families balance paid work with other important aspects of their lives, such as family commitments.

References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Unpaid work and the Australian economy, 1997. (ABS Cat. no. 5240.0). ABS: Canberra; 2000.
  2. ABS. 2011 Census QuickStats [Internet]. 2013 Mar 28 [cited 2013 Oct 18]. Available from: http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2011/quickstat/0#vehicles
 

Notes:  The data includes unpaid child care provided by people aged 15 years and over who, in the two weeks prior to Census Night, spent time caring for a child/children (under 15 years of age).

The data indicators presented are:

  • Unpaid child care provided by people aged 15 years and over to their own child/ children (under 15 years of age)
  • Unpaid child care provided by people aged 15 years and over to other child/ children (under 15 years of age)
  • Total (unpaid) child care provided by people aged 15 years and over to children (under 15 years of age) - this includes the categories of people caring for:
    1. their own child/ children only;
    2. other child/ children only; and
    3. both their own child/ children and other/ children combined (the data for this final group are not shown separately)

The data exclude the 7.8% of persons aged 15 years and over whose engagement in unpaid child care was not stated. (The proportion excluded was calculated based on the Australian data.)

 

Numerator:  Persons aged 15 years and over who spent time caring for a child/ children (under 15 years of age) without pay - for data indicators, refer to the Notes section above

 

Denominator:  Population aged 15 years and over

 

Detail of analysis:  Per cent

 

Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Census 2011 data.

 

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