Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Business Honours


School of Business


Faculty of Business

First Advisor

Margaret Giles


Public subsidisation of child care has increased steadily over it's 20 year history, corresponding with increases in the rate of labour force participation of mothers. This research seeks to determine if labour force participation is driven by provision of child care or if the supply of child care is driven by demand of Mothers participating in the labour force. Much of the Australian research of mothers' labour force participation does not take account for the provision or use of child care, yet all find the presence of children in the family as having a major impact on the labour force decisions of mothers (Rosa, 1986; Beggs & Chapman, 1988; Rosa & Saunders, 1993). In her 1993 study Corbett found

Evidence supporting participation being driven by child care provision. This Research is guided by Corbett's study, seeking to confirm her results and search for differences in this relationship between child care and full- and part-time participation. The labour force participation of mothers is analysed as part-time and full-time participation to differentiate between the characteristics of these two groups of mothers identified in previous studies (Ross. 1986; Beggs & Chapman, 1988; Ross & Saunders. 1993). Time series analysis of labour market participation for mothers was conducted using child care supply as an explanatory variable and of child care demand using labour market participation as an explanatory variable. Results do not confirm Corbett’s (1993) findings of a relationship favouring child care driven participation. This research finds equal evidence of support for both relationships, with mothers’ part-time participation being a more significant variable than full-time participation in both relationships.