Childhood Education and Care Survey

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    NAME OF ORGANISATION
    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    OVERVIEW
    The Childhood Education and Care Survey (CEaCS) covers the topics of child care and early childhood education and learning activities for children aged less than 13 years. The child care topic has been collected in a series of surveys approximately every three years since 1969 and up until 2005 was known as the Child Care Survey (CCS). The main aim of those surveys was to provide information on the use and cost of child care in a survey reference week, and some aspects of families' requirements for formal care or preschool. In 2008 the topic was renamed CEaCS and redeveloped to include usual care arrangements (for type of care, hours and cost), in addition to previous measures of care used in the survey reference week. Also collected, for the first time, was information on early childhood education and learning (the types of learning activities that children aged 0-8 years engage in, the environments in which these activities take place), and patterns of attendance at preschool and school. As with earlier CCSs, the cost of care estimates are net of the Child Care Benefit (CCB). However, for the 2008 CEaCS and later cycles, the cost estimates are also net of the Child Care Tax Rebate (CCTR), first introduced in December 2005 and later known as the Child Care Rebate (CCR), which allows families to claim the rebate on out-of-pocket expenses for care in certain circumstances.

    PURPOSE

    The data from this survey is used by key government agencies in planning and policy formulation around preschool and child care. Specifically, information from the survey will be applied to:

    • Plan levels and types of child care and educational services
    • Provide updated data on usage of different types of formal and informal care, and fees paid
    • Provide updated data on usage of preschool and preschool programs, and fees paid
    • Patterns of attendance at preschool and school
    • Assess levels and types of work arrangements for child care and provide updated data to gauge changes in work arrangements over time
    • Assess unmet demand for child care services and preschool
    • Assess the barriers to participating in formal and non-formal education
    • Assess the extent of awareness of the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate amongst those who are eligible and indicate their characteristics.

    SCOPE

    This survey is conducted as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and so has similar scope and coverage as the LFS. The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the LFS. For more details on changes to the LFS in recent years see Information Paper: Labour Force Sample Design, May 2013 (cat. no. 6269.0).

    SCOPE - Childhood Education and Care Survey

    The underlying scope inherited from the LFS is further restricted to Australian resident children aged 0-12 years (and their families) living in private dwellings.
    In families where all parents were members of the Australian permanent defence forces, no information was collected for CEaCS. In couple families where only one parent was a member, no employment information is available for that parent but information on the family and children was obtained from the other resident parent.
    For any further differences in scope for individual collection years (e.g. age of children, around inclusion/exclusion of very remote areas and persons living in Indigenous Communities), see the Explanatory Notes which accompany each publication.

    COVERAGE - Labour Force Survey

    In the Labour Force Survey, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection.

    COVERAGE - Childhood Education and Care Survey

    From 2008, detailed information was collected for a maximum of two usually resident children aged 0-12 years from within one family in a selected dwelling.
    CEaCS coverage excludes persons absent from their usual residence for an extended period. In families where all parents were absent, no information was collected for CEaCS. In couple families where only one parent was absent, no employment information is available for that parent but information on the family and children was obtained from the other resident parent.
    For any further differences in coverage for individual collection years, see the Explanatory Notes which accompany each publication.

    DATA DETAIL

    Conceptual framework

    Child care relates to those types of care for children described as formal child care or informal child care.

    Formal child care is regulated care away from the child's home, which includes:

    • Before and after school care
    • Long day care
    • Family day care
    • Occasional care

    Informal care is non-regulated care either in the child's home or elsewhere. It includes paid or unpaid care by:
    • grandparents
    • (step)brothers or (step)sisters
    • other relatives (including a non-resident parent)
    • other people (including friends, neighbours, nannies or babysitters)
    • other organisations (e.g. creche at gyms and health centres)

    Prior to the Child Care 2005 Survey, preschool was classified as a type of formal child care. Key users however consider the definition of formal care to exclude preschool. Therefore, from 2005 onwards, preschool data has been collected separately from child care data.

    Main outputs

    Characteristics of interest/Data Items:

    • Demographic items
    • Sex of child
    • Age of child
    • Country of birth of child
    • Main language spoken at home by child
    • School attendance
    • Total weekly income of each parent
    • Principal source of income of each parent
    • Family type
    • Area of usual residence
    • Child care arrangements
    • Type of care arrangements used
    • Days of attendance
    • Hours of care
    • Cost of care
    • Reasons for use of child care
    • Preschool attendance
    • Cost of care after the Child Care Benefit (CCB)
    • Cost of care after the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and Child Care Rebate (CCR)
    • Whether the CCB was claimed
    • Whether the CCR was claimed
    • Reasons for not claiming
    • Additional formal care required
    • Type of formal care required
    • Additional preschool required
    • Number of days additional formal care or preschool required
    • Reasons for requiring additional formal care or preschool
    • Reasons for not applying for required additional formal care or preschool
    • Reasons for not using additional formal care or preschool if available
    • Whether parent/s used working arrangements to help care for their child/ren
    • Type of working arrangements parent/s used to help care for their child/ren
    • Parental involvement in informal learning activities.

    Main Population:

    For the Child Care 2005 Survey and Childhood Education and Care Surveys: Children aged 0-12 years, who were usual residents of a private dwelling (a)

    For the previous Child Care Surveys : Children aged 0-11 years, who were usual residents of a private dwelling (b)

    (a) This population is not available for the Child Care Surveys prior to the Child Care 2005 Survey.

    (b) This population is also available for the Child Care 2005 Survey and Childhood Education and Care Surveys.

    Major sub-populations (c):

    Population 1: Parents of these children

    Population 2: Families of these children

    Population 3: Children who attend child care

    Population 4: Children who attended formal care (d)

    Population 5: Children who attended informal care

    Population 6: Children who attend preschool (e)

    (c) For the Child Care 2005 Survey and Childhood Education and Care Surveys, these are sub-populations of the main population Children aged 0-12 years, who were usual residents of a private dwelling. However, for the previous Child Care Surveys, these are sub-populations of the main population Children aged 0-11 years, who were usual residents of a private dwelling.

    (d) In the Child Care 2005 Survey and Childhood Education and Care Surveys, this population excludes preschool (the population that includes preschool is called Children who attend Formal Care and/or Preschool). In the prior Child Care Surveys, however, it includes preschool.

    (e) Separately available from 2005.

    Publication: Childhood Education and Care, Australia (cat. no. 4402.0)

    Data cubes (Timeseries and state and territory tables): Childhood Education and Care, Australia (cat. no. 4402.0)

    TableBuilder: 4402.0.55.001 - Microdata: Childhood Education and Care, Australia


    Classifications

    Demographics: State, Area, Region, Sex, and Age.

    Prior to 2014, Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Regional levels - limited cross-classifications with other data items available.

    From 2014, Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).

    Other concepts (summary)
    N/A

    GEOGRAPHIC DETAIL
    Australia
    New South Wales
    Victoria
    Queensland
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Tasmania
    Northern Territory
    ACT

    Comments and/or Other Regions

    Not all data available for all areas.

    COLLECTION FREQUENCY
    Adhoc

    Frequency comments

    Initially conducted in May 1969, then in May 1973, May 1977, June 1980, November 1984 then 3 yearly in June from 1987 except in 1990 and 1996 when the topic was conducted in November and March respectively.

    Collected as the Child Care Survey until 2005 and from 2008 as the Childhood Education and Care Survey.



    COLLECTION HISTORY

    The ABS has conducted a similar survey approximately every three years since 1969.

    DATA AVAILABILITY
    Yes

    Data availability comments

    Child Care Survey data from 1969 to 2005 is currently available. Childhood Education and Care Survey data for 2008, 2011 and 2014 is available.


    DATE OF LAST UPDATE FOR THIS DOCUMENT
    20/10/2017 04:15 PM