Research and Discussions

Senate backs help for Grandparents raising their Grandchildren

A Senate Committee has recommended that the Commonwealth and States do more to help grandparents raising their grandchildren. The Report is the result of a national inquiry into grandparents raising their grandchildren, conducted by the Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee. 

UnitingCare’s Time for Grandparents program response to the Senate Committee Inquiry can be found here

Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry

Commissioner Tim Carmody, QC presented his final reports to the Queensland Government on 1 July 2013.

The final reports of the Commission are available here. The Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry has now concluded. For inquiries about the Commission see here.

The Senate Community Affairs References Committee on Grandparents who take primary responsibility for raising their grandchildren 2014 report can be read here 

Grandparents are the main providers of informal care for children of working parents
(Source is  the Australian Bureau of Statistics)

According to data released today (29/4/2015) by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), grandparents provide child care for almost one-third of children of working parents. In June 2014, 30 per cent of children with two working parents received care from a grandparent. Patrick Corr from the ABS said this was a similar figure to children in employed single parent families.

“31 per cent of children received child care from a grandparent in these families.” said Mr Corr. “Also, one-fifth of children in these families received care from a parent who lives elsewhere. 
“In families where the youngest child usually attended some form of child care, 76 per cent of female parents and 94 per cent of male parents worked.

“This is compared with 45 per cent and 88 per cent respectively in families where the youngest child did not attend care.” 
Of all children aged 0-12 years, just under half (1.8 million) attended some form of child care. One third of children attended informal care and one quarter formal care. The main form of informal care was care by grandparents (22 per cent) and the principal type of formal care was at a long day care centre (14 per cent).

“The report found more female parents than male parents use alternative work arrangements to care for their children," said Mr Corr “with 71 per cent of women compared with 41 per cent of men using these arrangements.

“The most common arrangements used by female parents were flexible work (39 per cent), part time work (38 per cent) and work at home (19 per cent).”

Further details are in 2014 Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2014 (cat. no. 4402.0), available for free download from

Grandparents: understanding grandchildren’s playtime

Do you look after your grandchildren for any length of time? Maybe a few hours a week? Or much longer?

You are invited to take part in a research project about grandparents experiences when caring for their grandchildren. The study is being conducted by Dr Meegan Kilcullen at James Cook University.

If you agree to be involved in the study, you will be invited to participate in answering a questionnaire which asks you about your experiences of parenting relationship.

Completing the questionnaire should take approximately 15 minutes. By completing the questionnaire, you are providing your consent to participate in this research.

Taking part in this study is completely voluntary and you can stop taking part in the study at any time without explanation or prejudice.

If you know of others that might be interested in this study, can you please pass on this link to them so they may contact me to volunteer for the study.

Your responses and contact details will be strictly confidential. The data from the study will be used in research publications and reports including journal articles and community presentations. You will not be identified in any way in these publications.

If you have any questions about the study, please contact Dr Meegan Kilcullen.

Principal Investigator: Dr Meegan Kilcullen 
Discipline of Psychology 
College of Healthcare Sciences James Cook University 
Phone: 4781 6958 

If you have any concerns regarding the ethical conduct of the study, please contact: Human Ethics, Research Office James Cook University, Townsville, Qld, 4811 Phone: (07) 4781 5011 ( 
To access the survey click