Grandparent childcare and labour market participation in Australia


This study explores the intersection between grandparents’ childcare provision and their labour market and retirement decisions. In the context of an ageing population and the associated challenges this will pose, there is growing policy emphasis on keeping mature-age Australians engaged in the labour market. At the same time, many Australian grandparents are taking on considerable caring responsibilities for their grandchildren. In the context of these two major and potentially contradictory trends, there is as yet no research that explores the effect of intergenerational childcare provision on grandparents’ decisions about labour market participation or exit, and the policy implications.

Using a mixed-methods approach, this study will address this gap in research. The study is motivated by the need to uncover what role grandparent childcare plays in grandparents’ work and retirement decisions, and the role for policy in supporting grandparents to make real choices about work and childcare.

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