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Informal childcare arrangements

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OECD - Social Policy Division
Publication Date: 
15 Sep 2014


Definitions and methodology 

Informal care is generally defined as care arranged by the child's parent either in the child's home or elsewhere, provided by relatives, friends, neighbours, babysitters or nannies and it is generally unregulated. This indicator presents data from surveys with different definitions and groupings of childcare providers. For example, some surveys classify as informal care all informal childcare providers (relatives and non-relatives) who do not receive payment for this activity (EU-SILC). Other surveys define informal care as non-regulated care provided by grandparents, other relatives and non-relatives but do not distinguish between paid and unpaid care (Australia, Korea and the US). Data is presented separately for European and non-European countries because of comparability constraints in the definitions. Data for European countries includes unpaid care provided by grandparents, other relatives, friends or neighbours. Data for Korea concern the same type of providers as EU-SILC, but it includes paid and unpaid care. Data presented for Australia and the US include childcare provided by a grandparent regardless of payment. This indicator also presents data on children who do not use non-parental care arrangements (formal and informal childcare providers), i.e. they are taken care of exclusively by their parents , during the reference period (a typical week in most surveys, see full report).