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FILE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT
Income Unit level
Information available on the Income unit level includes age, country of birth, labour force status, income and educational attainment of parent(s). It also includes household and family characteristics, and geographic identifiers, such as state/territory of usual residence. Families may comprise:
Income Unit Care level
The Income unit care level includes the type(s) of care used by the family, the cost of care to the family, the number of children in the family who use care, and whether care was used 'in the last week' and/or 'in a usual week'. All families are represented on this level (a single record will be present for a family where 'no care or preschool' was reported) and the counting unit is 'care instances for families'.
The Child level contains the demographic characteristics of each selected child (up to two children per family), including age, sex, and country of birth. It also includes information regarding the child's formal education, informal learning and parental engagement, formal and informal care arrangements and unmet need for formal care or preschool. Each selected child is represented as one record and the counting unit is 'children'.
Child Care level
Information on the Child care level includes the type(s) of care used by the child(ren), number of days/hours care used and whether care was used 'in the last week' and/or 'in a usual week'. Also included is weekly cost of care after the CCB and/or CCR are deducted, and whether the CCB and/or CCR was claimed for the care. All selected children are represented on this level (a single record will be present for children where 'no care or preschool' was reported) and the counting unit is 'care instances for children'.
The following diagram shows a view of the four levels, as 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.
MULTI–RESPONSE DATA ITEMS
A number of questions included in the survey allow respondents to provide more than one response. The data items resulting from these questions are referred to as 'multi–response data items' and are identified in the CEaCS TableBuilder data item list with <multiple response> appended to the data item name. Note that the sum of individual multi-response categories will be greater than the total population or number of people applicable to the data item as respondents are able to select more than one response.
For example, for the data item 'Parental involvement in informal learning activities with child last week (0-2 years)' shown below, the total applicable population is 936,500 while the sum of responses to individual categories is 3,576,100.
Most data items included in the TableBuilder file include special codes for 'Not applicable', 'Could not be determined', 'Not stated', 'Inadequately described’ and/or 'Other' categories. These are shown in the data item list in the Downloads tab. For continuous items, TableBuilder does not include these codes when calculating sums, medians and means, and ranges. See the example provided under Continuous data items section (below).
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. However, 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 for the mother' 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 for the parent(s)'. Note that the Family composition data item can be used to restrict a table to couple families or one parent families.
CONTINUOUS DATA ITEMS
The TableBuilder file contains a number of continuous data items which can have a response value at any point along a continuum. All continuous items are available under Summation Options (on the left hand panel in Data View of TableBuilder), where means, medians and ranges can be calculated.
Many continuous data items include special codes for certain responses (e.g. 999 = 'Not applicable'). Such continuous items have a corresponding categorical item that provides the ability to display data for the special code. Any special codes for continuous data items are displayed on the data item list.
When creating ranges in TableBuilder for such continuous items, special codes will automatically be excluded. Therefore the total will show only 'valid responses' rather than all responses (including special codes). Similarly, means and quantiles calculated for continuous items will only include 'valid responses'.
It can be seen on the data item list that the data item 'Age child first commenced long day care (in months) - continuous' includes the special codes '998. Could not be determined' and '999. Not applicable'. The data item can be selected from the Child level list of items (on the left hand panel in Data View) to create a table showing data for the special codes. The following shows the tabulation of the data item. The continuous values of the data item are contained in the 'A valid response was recorded' row. 'Could not be determined' includes children for which the age they commenced long day care is not known. 'Not applicable' includes children not currently attending long day care. To show the actual continuous values in a table, a range must be created.
Here is the same table with a range applied to the continuous values (i.e. the 'valid responses') for the data item, available under Summation Options. Note that the numbers of children for the 'Could not be determined' and 'Not applicable' categories no longer contribute to the table.
Some continuous data items are available as categorical data items with values grouped into categories. For example, cost of care is available as ‘Cost of care in a usual week after the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate - continuous’ and ‘Cost of care in a usual week after the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate' with cost categorised into $25 ranges.
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 4-12 years', any data item with that population (excluding the 'Not applicable' category) can be used as a filter - such as the data item 'Whether child attends school'.
While any applicable data item can be used for this filtering process, the CEaCS TableBuilder also includes some data items that have been specifically derived for this purpose. For example, the population data item 'Children aged 0-2 years' can be used rather than the 'Age of child 0-12 years in single years' data item. The specifically derived population data items are listed in the data item list and are included in the 'Populations' folder on the Child level of the TableBuilder product.
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