Notes on the data: Child care: unpaid

Unpaid child care provided by people aged 15 years and over, 2016

 

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. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated that if unpaid household work and volunteer and community work were included within the definitions of the national accounts, GDP for 2006 would have increased by a minimum of 41.6% (using the housekeeper replacement cost method) and a maximum of 58.7% (using the gross opportunity cost method based on a person wage rate) [1].

In the 2016 Census, 27.6% of people aged 15 years and over had 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). Spotlight on National Accounts: Unpaid work and the Australian economy, May 2014. (ABS Cat. no. 5202.0). ABS: Canberra; 2014, accessed 11 August 2017. Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/5202.0?OpenDocument
  2. ABS. 2016 Census QuickStats, accessed 11 August 2017. Available from: http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/036
 

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 numerator excludes the 8.3% of the population aged 15 years and over whose engagement in unpaid child care was not stated: however, these records are included in the denominator.

 

Geography:  Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintiles and Remoteness Areas

 

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

 

Denominator:  Population aged 15 years and over

 

Detail of analysis:  Percent

 

Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Census of Population and Housing, August 2016.

 

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