Australian parents' needs and expectations regarding out of school hours care: A pilot study

Helen Winefield, Alicia Piteo, Lisa Kettler, Rachel Roberts, Anne Taylor, Michelle Tuckey, Linley Denson, Kay Thomas, Ian Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


An increasing number of working parents are making use of out of school hours care (OSHC) for their young primary-school aged children, but in Australia very little is known about how effectively these services meet parent needs. The present pilot study aimed to gather information non-directively from employed parents, first, about how OSHC use affects their workforce participation and ability to resolve the competing demands of work and family responsibilities. The second goal was to gain some idea of what parents look for in OSHC and how satisfied they feel with the service they use. Thirteen mothers answered open-ended but structured questions in a telephone interview. They expressed how vital OSHC services are in enabling them to work, but usually did not spontaneously evaluate the quality of the service. Results suggest a need for more systematic research on OSHC quality, and how it does or might contribute to parent and child well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-206
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Oct 2011


  • early childhood education
  • family well-being
  • formal child care
  • out of school hours care
  • working parents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this