Perceptions of rebates for nanny care: An analysis of an online discussion
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Childcare services in Australia have experienced a rapid growth in demand over the last 30 years. This has paralleled a number of shifts in society, including: the changing roles and expectations of women; the structuring of an economy that relies on dual income as the norm; the assigning of responsibility to the wider community for the adequate provision of child care; and more recently, an expectation that early years child care also performs an educative role. The current Australian context features a mini baby boom (Bryant, 2011) resulting in a strong demand for child care but with an unmatched supply of services. As a potential election promise, the federal opposition leader in 2012 suggested that the Australian childcare rebate for families should be extended to nannies to increase supply and to help with out-of-hours care. This would be a new initiative for the childcare industry. This paper reports on the text analysis of a self-selected group of 113 respondents who posted comments to a website in response to this proposal. Key themes emerged in the posts relating to: the role of women; middle-class welfare; the role of nannies; and the pressures of modern living. Findings from this investigation are important as they provide a moment in time snapshot of perceptions about early childhood education and care. Policy initiatives are explored with a view to address the shortfall in childcare provision; findings are important to provide initial glimpses of community perceptions.
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood
© 2013 Early Childhood Australia. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori)