Participant Information Statement

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), with a consortium of researchers, has been commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Education (formerly the Department of Education and Training) to evaluate the Australian Government’s new Child Care Package. The evaluation will report on the outcomes and impacts of the package, using a range of data, collected and analysed over three years.

(Please click on the headings below to reveal further information.)

You have been invited to participate in the second Survey of Early Learning and Care Services survey. This survey is seeking responses from Managers or Directors of a representative sample of services across the country, to better understand services’ experiences of the child care package.

Services have been selected from Department of Education administrative records, and administrative data will also be linked to survey data by the evaluation team to minimise the number of questions we need to ask in the survey and to allow more in-depth analysis of the outcomes and impacts of the reforms. The data will be used in analyses by the evaluation team in preparation of reports and other publications.

You will be asked to complete a survey online. This survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete and includes a range of questions about experiences of the Child Care Package at this service, including questions about service characteristics that may have changed, and about service and family experiences of the child care package. Due to the nature of the survey, it is best completed by someone who is primarily located at this location, and familiar with day-to-day service operations - most likely a manager or director. However, we will not require you to access your administrative data to complete the survey. Services that do not complete the survey online will be contacted by SRC to complete the survey via telephone.

Participation in the survey is voluntary. If you agree to participate in the survey you can withdraw from the project without comment or penalty at any point in the survey. If you do leave the survey part-way through, we will use the information you have entered up until that point, unless you contact SRC to ask for that information to be withdrawn. Your decision to participate or not participate will in no way impact upon your current or future relationship with AIFS or the Department of Education.

All responses are confidential. Only individuals named on the evaluation team will have access to the survey data. No information that could identify your service or you as an individual will be contained in the report to the Department of Education, or other outputs from the project. You can read more about AIFS’ privacy policy at www.aifs.gov.au/privacy.

The final data from the study will be stored securely at AIFS for the duration of the child care package evaluation, which is at least until December 2021 (but may be extended beyond this time), and then a further seven years after that. Only approved personnel may use these data and only for the purpose of the evaluation unless you provide permission to do otherwise.

Your contact information is stored securely and is removed from the survey dataset. Your survey responses are instead saved against a unique identifier.

AIFS is committed to the ethical conduct of research projects. However, if you do have any concerns or complaints about the ethical conduct of the study you may contact the AIFS Ethics Committee secretariat on (03) 9214 7825 or ethicssecretariat@aifs.gov.au. The Ethics Committee secretariat is not connected with the research project and can facilitate a resolution to your concern in an impartial manner.

AIFS has invited the Social Research Centre to conduct the survey on its behalf and so if you would like more information about the survey, please contact them on secls@srcentre.com.au or 1800 023 040

More information about the evaluation can be found on the AIFS website: https://aifs.gov.au/projects/child-care-package-evaluation

If you want to talk to someone about the evaluation, you can contact the AIFS research team on 1800 352 275 or aifs-childcare-eval@aifs.gov.au.