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Grapevine Key To Child Care

Margaret Wenham
The Courier-Mail

PARENTS choosing child care rely more on the word-of-mouth experiences of other parents to inform themselves of the quality of services than they do on any other information source, new research has found.

More than 200 Gold Coast families participated in the Bond University study, which also revealed the quality of staff and the location of the service were crucial to parents' decisions when selecting child care.

Bond children's services researcher Assistant Professor Caroline Fewster said yesterday parents looked for staff who provided a healthy environment for their children. "Staff that are warm and sensitive -- those were the two key words used by parents," Professor Fewster said. "The other very important factor is location -- the childcare service has to be close either to parents' home or work."

Professor Fewster will be presenting a paper today at the 25th Early Childhood Australia biennial conference at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. More than 800 delegates from Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US will attend the two-day conference.

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