1136.0 - A Directory of Education and Training Statistics, 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/03/2009   
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LSAC Project Manager

Australian Institute of Family Studies
Level 20, 485 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, Vic.3000
Telephone 1800 352 275.

Email growingup@aifs.gov.au
Website http://www.aifs.gov.au/growingup


Growing Up in Australia (The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children), gathers information about two cohorts of children at two-yearly intervals. The first cohort of 5000 children aged less than 12 months in 2003–04 will be followed until they reach 6 to 7 years of age, and the second cohort comprising 5000 children aged 4-5 years in 2003–04 will be followed until they reach 10 or 11 years of age. Data from the survey are being used to examine topical issues of social and family policy relevance and explore family and social issues relevant to children's development, and address a range of research questions about health, education, child-care, family functioning, child functioning and socio-demographics. Each wave of information-gathering involves some psychometric assessment of children, related to language development.


The sample is broadly representative of all Australian children (citizens and permanent residents) in each of two selected age cohorts: children born between March 2003 and February 2004 (infants at the commencement of the study) and children born between March 1999 and February 2000 (children aged 4-5 years at the commencement of the study). Children in some remote parts of Australia were excluded.

While the child is the primary interest, respondents also include parents, child carers, preschool and school teachers, and the children themselves.

Frequency of Collection

This survey is longitudinal. Data are collected from the two cohorts every two years, until 2010, possibly beyond.

Method of collection

An initial sample was selected from the Health Insurance Commission's Medicare database. The primary data collection method for Wave 1 was a face-to-face interview with the child's main parent (Parent 1). Data collection also included two time-use dairies, to be completed by parents in respect of the child's activities, in two twenty-four hour periods. The interviewer also made some observations, and, if parental agreement was attained, a questionnaire was sent to a carer or teacher. Wave 1 data were collected by private social research companies.

Wave 2 and subsequent data collection are being undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Data collection for Wave 2 was completed in early 2007 and Wave 3 data collection was completed in late 2008. Development is underway for the Wave 4 data collection, to take place over 2009–2010. The primary data collection method of a face-to-face interview with the child's main parent (Parent 1) will continue with self-completed forms for parents and teachers as before; and a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) for the child's parent living elsewhere.


Release schedule

Selected results of Wave 1 data collection were released in May 2005.

Selected results of Wave 2 data collection were included in the 2006–07 Growing Up in Australia Annual Report, which was released in June 2008.


Growing Up in Australia 2006–07 Annual Report Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne
Growing Up in Australia 2005–06 Annual Report Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne
Growing Up in Australia 2004 Annual Report Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne
Growing Up in Australia (Newsletter) Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne.

Further information about these and other publications is available on the Australian Institute of Family Studies website.


Data are available for Australia, states, and territories.

Data Service

Further information about confidentialised data sets, user support services, including a Data Users Guide, technical papers, and data dictionary are available on the study website, http://www.aifs.gov.au/growingup.

Other information

A television program,
Life at 3, was screened on ABC TV in October 2008, drawing on the Growing Up in Australia study.It examined the factors that impact on the lives of a group of children and their families. More information is available at the AIFS website.


Family structure
Children: sex and age
Parents: sex and age
Parents' ethnic background: country of birth, language

Home education environment
Expectations about education
Parental involvement

Learning and cognitive outcomes
Approach to learning
Early language and communication
Language development
Numeracy development

Program characteristics
Education and care choices
School enjoyment
Time in care
Teaching practices

Historical Data

This longitudinal survey commenced in 2004.