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3. Child level
The Income Unit level and the Child level are linked with each other through an hierarchical relationship, i.e. each child at the Child level of the file is a member of an Income Unit. While the word 'family' is often used interchangeably with 'income unit' in CEaCS, the income unit may not include all members of a family, e.g. an employed 18 year old living at home but treated as a separate income unit. It should also be noted that, in families with more than two children aged 0–12 years, only two children were randomly selected for the survey with the complete set of information collected only for these children. Consequently, the Child level does not necessarily comprise all the children relating to the Income Unit. However, summary information was collected for the other child(ren) in the income unit, including the number attending child care and/or preschool and the cost of care, and this information is available at the Income Unit Care level. In households with multiple families information was only collected for the child(ren) from one family.
The Income Unit Care level is also linked to the Income Unit level. The Income Unit Care level contains records for the child care used by all children in the Income Unit for both the 'last week prior to the survey' and 'usually'. As mentioned above, the Income Unit Care level also includes some information for the child(ren) in the family not selected for the survey, as parents were asked for aggregated cost of care and use of care data for the other child(ren) in the family.
The Child Care Level is linked to the Child level. The Child Care Level contains information about each child care arrangement used by the child(ren), both for the 'last week prior to the survey' and 'usually'.
Further information about each level is provided below.
Income Unit level
The Income Unit level contains information about each parent of the selected child(ren) aged 0–12 years including general demographic characteristics such as age, sex, marital status, country of birth, labour force status, income and educational qualifications. This level also includes some household and family characteristics such as family composition and the number of children in the household. The geographic identifiers are also included on the Income Unit level (e.g. state/territory of usual residence, remoteness area).
Income Unit Care level
The Income Unit Care level contains information about each episode of care the income unit used to care for their child(ren). This includes the types of care used, the cost of the care after Child Care Benefits (CCB) and/or Child Care Rebates (CCR) are deducted and whether the family claimed or intended to claim the CCB. An income unit can be counted more than once in each of these data items, if the income unit used more than one instance of care.
The Child level contains information about each selected child aged 0–12 years in the family such as age, sex, whether the child attends school, preschool or long day care, the main reasons for their use/non-use of child care services, school readiness and informal learning activities in which they have participated. A child can only be counted once, unless the data item is a multiple response item for that child.
Child Care level
The Child care level contains information about the child care arrangement(s) used by each selected child aged 0–12 years, both for the 'last week prior to the survey' and 'usually'. This includes each type of care used by the child, the frequency of use, weekly cost of care after the CCB and/or the CCR are deducted and whether the CCB and/or CCR was claimed for the care. A child can appear more than once in each data item on this level if they attend more than one type of care.
The following diagram shows a view of the four levels, as would be seen in TableBuilder, including the sub–categories under which the individual data items have been grouped. A complete data item list for TableBuilder can be accessed from the Downloads page.
Most data items included in the TableBuilder file include special codes for 'Not applicable', 'Not stated', 'Inadequately described’ and/or 'Other' categories. These are shown in the data item list in the Downloads tab. TableBuilder does not include these codes when calculating sums, medians and means.
The 'Not applicable' category generally represents the number of people who were not asked a particular question or the number of people excluded from the population for a data item when that data was derived (e.g. Year of Arrival in Australia is not applicable for people born in Australia).
The Income Unit level has data items which are specific to mother or father. For most of these data items the 'Not applicable' category represents no mother or father, respectively, in the income unit. The Family composition data item can be used to restrict a table to couple families or one parent families. There are a few mother/father data items where the 'Not applicable' category includes more than no mother or father in the income unit. For example, the 'Not applicable' category for the data item 'Weekly income of mother' refers to no source of income or no mother in the income unit. Similarly for 'Weekly income of father'. The 'Not applicable' category for the data item 'Weekly income of parent(s)' refers to no source of income.
The population relevant to each data item is shown in the data item list and should be considered when extracting and analysing the microdata. The actual population count for each data item is equal to the total cumulative frequency minus the 'Not applicable' category.
Generally, all populations, including very specific populations, can be 'filtered' using other relevant data items. For example, if the population of interest is 'Children aged 4-8 years who attend school', any data item with that population (excluding the 'Not applicable' category) can be used as a filter. There are also population data items available on the Child level.
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