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Using consumer views in performance indicators for children's services

Consultancy report

This consultancy report was released on 22 February 2000. It was written by Lyn Gain for the Steering Committee for the Review of Commonwealth/State Service Provision. The views expresssed in the report are those of the consultant, Lyn Gain, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Steering Committee or the Children's Services Working Group (and their respective agencies).

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  • Contents

Cover, Contents, Acknowledgements

1 Executive Summary

2 Purpose of the Report
2.1 Auspice and Services Covered
2.2 Consultancy Brief
2.3 Timing and Methods
2.4 Performance Indicator Framework

3 Theoretical Findings and Discussion
3.1 Children's Services, Consumer Satisfaction, Choice and Quality
3.1.1 Parent and professional ratings of quality
3.1.2 Professional ratings of quality Proxy Quality Indicators Multiple Indicator Perspectives
3.1.3 Parental views of quality
3.1.4 Children's Views
3.2 Outcome and Access Measures
3.2.1 Child Outcomes
3.2.2 Non Child Outcomes
3.3 Satisfaction is Multi-dimensional
3.4 Other Technical Aspects of Satisfaction
3.5 Purposes of Collecting Consumer Views
3.5.1 Satisfaction and Service Improvement
3.5.2 Satisfaction and Accountability Australian Program Objectives Parents' Needs Children's Needs
3.5.3 Conclusions
3.6 Special Target Group Considerations
3.7 Different Service Type Considerations
3.8 Co-location of Services and Number of Children

4 Illustrative Methodologies in Children's Services
4.1 Studies Used for Performance Reporting
4.1.1 Client Satisfaction within an Overall Performance Indicator Framework
4.1.2 Client Satisfaction Measures Used for Performance Reporting
4.2 Studies Measuring Consumer Views about Children's Services
4.2.1 Sampling and Distribution Methods Self-administered Surveys Face-to-face Surveys Telephone Surveys
4.2.2 Data Collection Instruments Standardised Instruments Customised Instruments Some Selected Examples

5 Possible Models
5.1 New National Parent Telephone Survey
5.1.1 Model 1A - Full Survey - Description
5.1.2 Critique of Model 1A
5.1.3 Model 1B - Scaled Down Questionnaire
5.1.4 Critique of Model 1B
5.1.5 Model 1C - Rural and Remote Supplementary Survey
5.2 Model 2: ABS Childcare Australia Survey
5.2.1 Description
- Model 2a - Redesign
- Model 2b - Adaptation of Indicators
- Model 2c - Minor Revision
5.2.2 Critique
5.3 Model 3: Building on the QIAS Parent Surveys
5.3.1 Background and Description
5.3.2 Critique of Model 3
5.4 Model 4: Telephone Survey of Commonwealth Subsidised Users
5.4.1 Background and Description
5.4.2 Critique of Model 4
5.5 Model 5: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Indicator

6 Conclusions and Recommendations

Appendix A Literature References

Appendix B Australian Peak and Umbrella Organisations Contacted


Annotated Bibliography - Separate Volume

Sample Questionnaires - Separate Volume

Questionnaire 1 City of Kingston: Children's Services Surveys, Mentone, Victoria

Questionnaire 2 Emlen, Arthur (1997) - Quality of Child Care from a Parent's Point of View, Questionnaire on Child Care

Questionnaire 3 Galinsky, Ellen, O'Donnell, Nina Sazar, Beyea, Brigit, Boose, John, (1998) Florida Child Care Quality Improvement Study, Survey of Parents and Child Care Questionnaire, Families and Work Institute New York

Questionnaire 4 Queensland Office of Child Care (1999): Parent Survey

Questionnaire 5 Consumer Contact (1996): OSHC Family Preferences, Specifically the Child's Preferred Care, Consumer Research Study Report, Department of Human Services and Health, Canberra - Questionnaire

Questionnaire 6 National Child Care Accreditation Council (1994): Quality Improvements and Accreditation System Workbook, Sydney - Parents Questionnaire

Questionnaire 7 Harrison, Amanda and Maddern, Christine (1999); Banule City Council Customer Satisfaction Survey (1998), Child Day Services, Market Solutions (Australia) Pty. Ltd., Moonee Ponds, Victoria - Questionnaires

Questionnaire 8 New Zealand Department of Labour and National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (1998): Childcare, Families and Work, The New Zealand Childcare Survey 1998: A Survey of Early Childhood Education and Care Arrangements for Children Questionnaire

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