4402.0.55.001 - Microdata: Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2017 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/04/2018   
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USING TABLEBUILDER


COUNTING UNITS AND WEIGHTS
USING REPEATING DATASETS
CHILD CARE LEVEL AND 'ALL TYPES OF CARE'
INCOME UNIT CARE LEVEL AND 'TYPE OF CARE USED BY FAMILY'
USING FLAG ITEMS
EXAMPLES: CROSS–TABULATING DATA ITEMS FROM DIFFERENT LEVELS
ADJUSTMENT OF CELL VALUES


For general information relating to the TableBuilder or instructions on how to use features of the TableBuilder product, please refer to the TableBuilder, User Guide (cat. no. 1406.0.55.005).

Detailed information about the 2017 Childhood Education and Care Survey (CEaCS) can be accessed from the Explanatory Notes page of the publication Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2017 (cat. no. 4402.0). In particular, the section titled 'Using the Data' on the Explanatory Notes page provides useful information on changes to the survey since the last iteration (in 2014).

More specific information relevant to the 2017 CEaCS TableBuilder, which should enable users to understand and interpret the data, is outlined below. Please read the 'File Structure and Content' page first, for information that will assist in understanding the Using TableBuilder content.

It is recommended that the 'File Structure and Content' and 'Using TableBuilder' pages are read in full prior to using the CEaCS TableBuilder.


COUNTING UNITS AND WEIGHTS

Weighting is the process of adjusting results from a sample survey to infer results for the total population. To do this, a 'weight' is allocated to each sample unit. The weight is the value that indicates how many population units are represented by the sample unit.

It is critical that the correct weight is selected when specifying tables to ensure that the estimates produced reflect the counting unit of interest. Using the incorrect weight will produce incorrect estimates.

The CEaCS has two weights: one for income units, and one for children. The income unit weights are applied to the Income Unit level and the Income Unit Care level to estimate income units or 'families' and 'care instances for families', respectively. The child weights are applied to the Child level and the Child Care level to estimate 'children,' and 'care instances for children', respectively. The terms 'families', 'care instances for families', 'children' and 'care instances for children' are also referred to as counting units.

The weight can be selected from the Summation Options on the left hand panel in Data View of the TableBuilder. The names of the weights, or counting units, for each level are highlighted below.

Summation Options and weights by level

The default weight in this TableBuilder is the Income Unit level weight, providing estimates for the income unit or 'families'. This default weight will automatically be applied to a table unless an alternative is selected - so care needs to be taken that the correct weight has been selected for the estimates you require.

In general, the Child weight is used if child estimates are required and the Income Unit weight is used if estimates of income units/families are required. Child Care level weights should be used when producing tables with data items from the Child Care level. Income Unit Care level weights should be used when producing tables with data items from the Income Unit Care level. As a general rule of thumb, the weight corresponding to the lowest level data item in a constructed table should be used to ensure the correct weights are applied. For example, if a Child Care level data item is cross-tabulated with a Child level data item, the weight for the Child Care level should be selected.

USING REPEATING DATASETS

The Income Unit and Child levels provide 'count' estimates of income units (as a proxy for families) and children, respectively, whereas the Income Unit Care and Child Care levels are repeating datasets. The 'one-to-many' relationships, described in the File Structure section, between the Income Unit level and the Income Unit Care level, and the Child level and the Child Care level, indicate the connection between these levels, i.e. an 'instance of care' is repeated (by type of care) so that multiple records with the same set of data exist for the same family, or child.

For example, a child may have used more than one instance of child care such as (i) a long day care centre, (ii) family day care and (iii) grandparents. Consequently, three records would be present on the Child Care level for this child, representing a repeating dataset, with each record containing information for a common set of data items, e.g. Number of days of care used, Number of hours of care used, cost of the care and so on. Also, the child will have summary records in addition to the individual care type records, described in the following section.

In this example, although the three records all relate to a single child, totals from the Child Care level are a count of child care instances for that child. Similarly, the totals from the Income Unit Care level are a count of summary child care instances for families.

More commonly, CEaCS is used to count the number of children or families who use a particular type (or types) of care, for a particular time period (either in a usual week, or in the last week). The data items that are key to extracting data in this way are specific to each level, as follows:
    Child Care level
      • All types of care
      • Flag to indicate whether care used in a usual week
      • Flag to indicate if care used last week

    Income Unit Care level
      • Type of care used by the family
      • Flag to indicate if any child in family used care in a usual week
      • Flag to indicate if any child in family used care last week

The following sections detail how to use these items to count care used by 'children' from the Child Care level, and care used by 'families' from the Income Unit Care level, for either 'in a usual week' or 'in the last week'.


CHILD CARE LEVEL AND 'ALL TYPES OF CARE'

The 'All types of care' index item provides the structure for the Child Care level - i.e. the Child Care level provides a record for each type of care used by each selected child, using the classifications (or categories) provided by this item. 'All types of care' includes separate formal and informal care types as well as summary care type categories (which are sub-totals or totals of the individual type of care categories). Understanding how this data item works is critical as it can result in miscounts if used incorrectly.

Below are the output categories for the 'All types of care' item:
    00 No care or preschool
    01 Before and/or after school care
    02 Long day care centre
    03 Family day care
    04 Occasional care centre
    06 Grandparent
    07 Brother/sister
    08 Non-resident parent
    09 Other relative
    10 Other person
    21 All care and preschool
    22 All formal care
    23 All informal care
    24 Preschool
    25 All care excluding preschool
    31 Used formal, used informal, used preschool
    32 Used formal, used informal, no preschool
    33 Used formal, no informal, used preschool
    34 Used formal, no informal, no preschool
    35 No formal, used informal, used preschool
    36 No formal, used informal, no preschool
    37 No formal, no informal, used preschool
    41 Used formal care only (disregarding preschool)
    42 Used informal care only (disregarding preschool)
    43 Used both formal and informal care (disregarding preschool)
    52 Family day care and Occasional care
    61 Brother/sister and Other relative
    62 Brother/sister, non resident parent and other relative
    63 Brother/sister, non resident parent, other relative and other person

Categories 00 to 10 and 24 provide counts of individual types of care (01 to 04 are formal care types, and 06 to 10 are informal care types). A child can have a response to one or more of these types of care and therefore these categories can be interpreted as a multi-response item within this data item. Note that individual types of care cannot be summed to provide a total number of children using care, as double counting of children who use more than one type of care will occur. Summary categories must be used to calculate totals (as described below).

Categories 21, 22, 23 and 25 are summary categories and provide totals for formal care, informal care and all care. These summary categories should be used to calculate totals, as they count a child only once across the summarised care types. If you sum formal care types or informal care types, the total will not represent the sum value for each child, but the number of instances of each type of care, resulting in double counting of children. This is particularly important when cross-tabulating 'All types of care' with another variable which may differ between different types of care for the same child (e.g. cost of care or days attended).

For example, consider creating a table cross-tabulating the type of care by cost of care in $25 ranges. If a child attended family day care at a cost of $50 and occasional care at a cost of $25, that child would appear once in the 'All formal care' row with a value of $75. This is the result that will be produced by using the category 21 to get a total of 'All formal care'. If categories 01, 02, 03 and 04 were summed together to create a 'total formal care' category, this child would appear twice in the 'total formal care' row, once with a value of $25 and once at $50, resulting in a double count of that child in the total. They would not appear with their true value of $75 for cost of care.

Categories 31 to 37 and 52, 61, 62 and 63, are additional summary categories that should also be used when calculating totals. For example, to determine how many children attend both some type of formal care (e.g. family day care) and informal care (e.g. grandparent care), but don't attend preschool, use category '32 - Used formal, used informal, no preschool'.This is because if you sum the individual care types (categories 03 and 06) to generate a total, then a child will appear twice in this total, resulting in double counting. Using category number 32 only counts the child once.

Three other summary categories have been provided - categories 41, 42 and 43. These are; '41 - Used formal care only (disregarding preschool)', '42 - Used informal care only (disregarding preschool)' and '43 - Used both formal and informal care (disregarding preschool)'. These differ from 34, 36 and 32, respectively. Category 41 combines 33 and 34 but ignores any preschool cost and hours attended. Similarly, category 42 combines 35 and 36, and category 43 combines 31 and 32. Categories 41, 42 and 43 should be used where preschool attendance is not of importance and is to be removed from the denominator of tables. Note that categories 41 and 42 should not be used in combination with the 'last week' flag items 'Flag to indicate if care used last week' (on Child Care level) or 'Flag to indicate if any child in family used care last week' (on Income Unit Care level). Categories 41 and 42 can be used in combination with the 'usual week' flag items 'Flag to indicate whether care used in a usual week' (on Child Care level) or 'Flag to indicate if any child in family use care in a usual week' (on Income Unit Care level).

INCOME UNIT CARE LEVEL AND 'TYPE OF CARE USED BY FAMILY'

Similar to 'All types of care' found on the Child Care level, the 'Type of care used by the family' index item provides the structure for the Income Unit Care level - i.e. the Income Unit Care level provides a record for each type of care used by the income unit, or family, using the classifications (or categories) provided by this item. 'Type of care used by the family' provides summary care type categories only, as it combines information for all children aged 0-12 years in the family. It is also complex and can result in miscounts if used incorrectly.

Below are the output categories for the 'Type of care used by the family' item:
    00 No care or preschool
    21 All care and preschool
    22 All formal care
    23 All informal care
    24 Preschool
    25 All care excluding preschool
    31 Used formal, used informal, used preschool
    32 Used formal, used informal, no preschool
    33 Used formal, no informal, used preschool
    34 Used formal, no informal, no preschool
    35 No formal, used informal, used preschool
    36 No formal, used informal, no preschool
    37 No formal, no informal, used preschool
    41 Used formal care only (disregarding preschool)
    42 Used informal care only (disregarding preschool)
    43 Used both formal and informal care (disregarding preschool)
    52 Family day care and Occasional care
    61 Brother/sister and Other relative
    62 Brother/sister, non resident parent and other relative
    63 Brother/sister, non resident parent, other relative and other person

The categories of 'Type of care used by the family' are the same as the equivalent categories of the 'All types of care' item on the Child Care level except that they represent types of care used by the family, rather than by the child. The descriptions for these categories can be found in the section above for 'All types of care'.

A variety of summary care types has been provided by this item in order to provide a wide range of possible combinations of interest to data users. Note that a family may have records in one or more categories, depending on how many types of care have been used by a child, or children, in the family.

USING FLAG ITEMS

Both the Child Care level and Income Unit Care level require the use of 'flag' items to ensure that estimates are extracted correctly.

The 'All types of care' data item (on the Child Care level) and the 'Type of care used by the family' (on the Income Unit Care level) include responses for child care used both 'in the last week' and 'in a usual week', and many of the items on these levels are specific to one or other of these time periods. Therefore, it is essential to use the 'flag' data items to restrict the population to the time period that you require. For example, to generate frequencies for care used by a child in a usual week, select the data item called 'Flag to indicate whether care used in a usual week' and select the category 'Care used in a usual week' and use this as a filter to restrict the table population.

Note that it is imperative that the 'usual week' or 'last week' care flags are used when any data items from the Child Care level or the Income Unit Care level are used, regardless of whether the care level data items are used alone or with other Income unit or Child level data items. If these flags are not used, the data will be incorrect.

The flags for the Child Care level, and their categories are:

Flag to indicate whether care used in a usual week
0. Care not used in a usual week
1. Care used in a usual week

Flag to indicate if care used last week
0. Care not used last week
1. Care used last week

The flags for the Income Unit Care level, and their categories are:

Flag to indicate if any child in family use care in a usual week
0. No children in the family use care in a usual week
1. At least one child in the family use care in a usual week

Flag to indicate if any child in family used care last week
0. No children in the family used care last week
1. At least one child in the family used care last week

EXAMPLES: CROSS–TABULATING DATA ITEMS FROM DIFFERENT LEVELS

The following examples demonstrate how to apply the information provided in the sections above to cross-tabulate data from different levels on the CEaCS TableBuilder. The four levels are:

1. Income Unit level
2. Income Unit Care level
3. Child level
4. Child Care level


Example 1: Child level by Child Care level.

When cross-tabulating across levels, in particular with care level items (either from the Child Care level or Income Unit Care level), remember there are several things to consider - what weight to use (i.e. what is your counting unit? Families or children?), what time period do you require (i.e. last week or in a usual week?) and what care types do you require (i.e. individual types of care or summary care items?).

For example, consider you want to extract the number of children, aged 0-5 years, who used formal care in the last week, by type of formal care.
In this example the counting unit is children, the time period is last week and you're interested in the individual types of formal care as well as the total for all types of formal care.

The following steps are taken:
1. Choose the data item 'Age of child 0-12 in single years' from the Child level
2. Create a recode item for children aged 0-5 years (see the TableBuilder, User Guide for detail on how to do this).
3. Select the formal care types you are interested in from the data item 'All types of care' from the Child Care level, including the summary category 'All formal care', which provides a total count.
4. As a count children is required, and the lowest level item in the table is from the Child Care level, select the 'Care instances for children' as the weight to apply, from Summation Options under Child Care level.
5. Choose the item 'Flag to indicate if care used last week' from the Child Care level and select the category 'Care used last week' to restrict the population for the table to those children who used care last week. Using the flag item eliminates double-counting of children across the two time periods ('in a usual week' and 'in the last week') and the resulting estimates represent the number of children aged 0-5 years by type of formal care. Note in this example that the flag item has been included in the table as a 'Filter' item (though it may be added as a Wafer, or added directly to the Column or Row).

Note from the tabulation shown below, that the sum of the different types of formal care (Before and after school care, Long day care, Family day care and Occasional care) is greater than the total for All formal care, as a child may have used more than one type of formal care in the last week. This highlights the need to use the summary data items when total counts are required.

Example 1 table
Example 2: Income Unit level by Income Unit Care level.

The table below is a count of families with at least one child usually using care, by state/territory.
In this example the counting unit is families, the time period is a usual week, and the types of care required are totals for all formal care, all informal care and preschool.

The steps to create this table were:
1. From the Income Unit Care level, the summary categories All formal care, All informal care and Preschool have been selected from the 'Type of care used by the family' data item.
2. This has been cross-tabulated by the data item 'State or territory of usual residence' on the Income Unit level.
3. The lowest level data item used is from the Income Unit Care level, so the Summation Option 'Care instances for families' is selected to apply the correct weight for this level.
4. In addition, the flag item category 'At least one child in the family use care in a usual week' (from 'Flag to indicate if any child in family use care in a usual week') has been selected for the time period required. By using the flag items and eliminating any double-counting of families across the two time periods ('in a usual week' and 'in the last week') the estimates represent the number of families by state/territory by type of care.

Example 2 table

Example 3: Income Unit level by Child level by Child Care level

The table below is a count of children aged 0–8 years who used care in a usual week, by state.
In this example the counting unit is children, the time period is a usual week, and the types of care required include individual care types as well as summary (or total) care types.

The steps to create this table were:
1. Data items were chosen - 'State or territory of usual residence' from the Income Unit level, the population data item 'Children aged 0–8 years' from the Child level, and multiple categories (for individual care types as well as summary categories) from the 'All type of care' item on the Child Care level.
2. The Child Care level weight was selected ('Care instances for children' from the Summation Options), because the lowest level data item used is from the Child Care level.
3. In addition, the flag item category 'Care used in a usual week' (from 'Flag to indicate whether care used in a usual week') has been used to apply the required time period. By using the flag item and eliminating any double-counting of children across the two time periods ('in a usual week' and 'in the last week') the estimates represent the number of children by state/territory by type of care.

Note that, as in Example 1, totals cannot be created by summing individual types of care, but are available in the summary care categories for the data item 'All types of care' (i.e. All care and preschool, All formal care, All informal care and All care excluding preschool).

Example 3 table


Example 4: Child level by Income Unit level data using different weights.

There may be instances when it is useful to extract estimates based on the higher level weight in a cross-tabulation. The following example demonstrates how to correctly interpret data output in this way.

Firstly, the table below demonstrates the usual scenario - the data items 'State or territory of usual residence' from the Income Unit level and 'Whether child attends school' from the Child level are cross-tabulated. The Child level weight is used as it is the lowest level in the table. The result is a count of the number of children attending school by state.

Example 4 table counting children

When cross-tabulating data items from different levels using the weight from the higher level, things are more complicated and care needs to be taken. Under this scenario, data items at the lower level effectively become multi-response data items at the higher level and, in addition, each category in a data item is tabulated as 'one or more occurrences with the particular characteristic(s)'. It is important to note that the totals in these types of tables indicate the actual estimate of Income Units (i.e. each Income Unit counted only once) while the component cells, which contain the multi-response concept, will be greater than the total.

Using the same table as above, but replacing the Child level weight with the Income Unit level weight, the result is a count of the number of Income Units (i.e. families) with at least one child attending school (see table below). If a family has a child attending school and a child aged less than 4 years this family will be counted twice. Therefore, 'Whether child attends school' is treated as a multi-response data item when the Income Unit weight is used. Note that this is evidenced by the sum of the categories by state being greater than the 'Total' categories.

Example 4 table counting families


ADJUSTMENT OF CELL VALUES

To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used to randomly adjust cell values. This technique is called perturbation. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics. After perturbation, a given published cell value will be consistent across all tables. However, adding up cell values to derive a total will not necessarily give the same result as published totals. The introduction of perturbation in publications ensures that these statistics are consistent with statistics released via services such as TableBuilder. For CEaCS, perturbation was introduced in 2014.