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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Performance and Analysis Branch
Office of Early Childhood Education and Child Care
PO Box 9880, Canberra City 2601

Telephone 13 36 84
Website www.office.mychild.gov.au


The Australian Government Census of Child Care Services was conducted regularly from 1986 to 2006. The information provided in the Census is the most comprehensive data available on Australian Government approved and funded child care. It is used extensively for monitoring growth, operation of services and assisting in policy formulation and planning. The most recent Census was conducted in May 2006, and collected information about child care users, staff and carers, and some operational details of child care services. The information was collected for the following nine service types:

  • Aboriginal Playgroups and Enrichment Programs,
  • Family Day Care Schemes,
  • In Home Care Schemes,
  • Long Day Care Services,
  • Mobiles and Toy Libraries,
  • Multifunctional Aboriginal Children's Services (MACS),
  • Occasional Care Services,
  • Outside School Hours Care Services, and
  • Vacation Care Services.

The Census also collected information about specific financial or other support types within the Australian Government's child care assistance program. Most of these assist the services to provide certain types of care. These specific support types were the:
  • Child Care Benefit (CCB) for approved care, which is paid to families or direct to an approved service,
  • Disabled Supplementary Services Program (DSUPS),
  • Inclusion Support Subsidy (ISS),
  • Inclusion and Professional Support Program (IPSP),
  • Special Needs Subsidy Scheme (SNSS), and the
  • Supplementary Services (SUPS) Program.


Australian Government approved and funded (licenced) child care services. Some forms of Australian Government supported child care services are also in-scope. Services in scope cater both for children younger than school starting age, and for school-aged children (e.g. vacation care services).

Reference Period

In the 2006 collection, the reference week for most services was 8–14 May 2006. However for vacation care services, the reference week was dictated by the dates of school holidays in each state or territory, occurring between June and July across the jurisdictions.

Frequency of Collection

Biennial, until 2006. Current data were collected from selected services by a small-scale survey conducted in late 2008.

Method of Collection

Data were collected mainly by an electronic form. A paper questionnaire was provided to services for which computer-based collection was impractical. The data requested varied in volume and complexity, depending on the type of service.


Release schedule

Data from the 2006 collection were released in 2008.


The following publications are available from the website of the Office of Early Childhood Education and Child Care

2006 Australian Government Census of Child Care Services - Summary Booklet
2006 Australian Government Census of Child Care Services - (full report)


Information is published for Australia and the states or territories.

Data Service

Data in other forms may be available on request.


The 2006 Census of Child Care Services collected information about children in child care services, their families, caregivers, child care services and their staff.

Number of children in care
Number of families with children in care
Ages of children
Sex of children
Percentage of CCB (if applicable) provided for child during collection week
Preschool received as a service activity
Children taken out to preschool
Hours charged for child during collection week
Actual hours of attendance during collection week
Attendance at school
Pattern of attendance at MACS
Fees paid for child at MACS
Overnight care
Weekend care
Need for and areas of additional assistance

Family type
Parental/Guardian working arrangements
Number of children eligible for CCB in child’s family
Priority group memberships, including parent(s) with a disability, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, etc.

Number of staff
Cultural background
Selected labour force characteristics
Field of study of highest qualification
Highest level of attainment in a children’s services related field
Current study
In-service training in the year prior to the reference week

Child Care Service
This information from the 2006 Census covers all service types, and may relate to some services only.

Operation of service
Usual hours per session
Levies charged to parents (e.g. administration levy, caregiver levy)
Funding from Australian Government Child Care Support Program
Type of services to which Australian Government Child Care Support Program relates
Places offered
Provides preschool program in-house
Number of children taken to local preschool

Historical Data

The Census of Child Care Services was first conducted in 1986. The website of the Office of Early Childhood Education and Child Care offers the results of six previous Censuses (2004, 2002, 2001, 1999, 1997, and 1996). The 2006 Census saw the introduction of a number of Children’s Services National Minimum Data Set items. Resultant definitional changes to the classification of staff mean that 2006 Census data on staff roles is not comparable with previous years.

Other information

As of December 2008, the future of the collection was under review, because much of the data can now be provided from administrative sources. Future collections are likely to be surveys, rather than census collections.