4402.0 - Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2011 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/05/2012   
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For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The Childhood Education and Care survey provides information about child care arrangements and early childhood education for children aged between 0–12 years of age.

This survey was conducted as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey (LFS). As a result, persons excluded from the LFS were also excluded from this survey (see Explanatory Notes of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for standard LFS exclusions). Additional exclusions from this survey were very remote areas of Australia, any non-residents visiting Australia (diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, members of non-Australian defence forces stationed in Australia, or non-residents otherwise visiting Australia), and residents of non-private dwellings such as hospitals, hotels and motels.

Information collected in the survey included: usual care arrangements (types of care, duration and cost); care arrangements used in the survey reference week (types of care, duration and cost); attendance at a preschool or preschool program (usually or in the survey reference week); need for additional formal care or preschool; early childhood education and learning activities.
The Childhood Education and Care survey is conducted throughout Australia every three years in June, as a supplement to the monthly LFS. The ABS has been conducting similar surveys since 1969. Until 2005, these were known as the Child Care Surveys. Data from the survey are released approximately eleven months after they have been collected.

The LFS is designed to provide estimates primarily for the whole of Australia and, secondly, for each state and territory.

Two types of error are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error.

Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures.

Sampling error occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population is surveyed. One measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all dwellings in the survey is given by the standard error. There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included in the survey and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two standard errors.

Every 5 years, following the availability of data from the Census of Population and Housing, the ABS reviews the LFS sample design. As a result of the review following the 2006 Census, the new sample design, implemented over the period November 2007 to June 2008, resulted in a smaller sample size from July 2008. For more information see Information Paper: Labour Force Sample Design, Nov 2007 (cat. no. 6269.0)

The ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey. Sound survey practice, however, requires ongoing development to maintain the integrity of the data. For changes between iterations of the survey, please refer to the Explanatory Notes.
Detailed information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with the Childhood Education and Care Survey can be found in the relevant web pages included with this release.

Tabulated data and associated RSEs are available in spreadsheet format from the Downloads tab.

Unit record data from the Childhood Education and Care Survey will be released subsequent to the initial release in a Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF). A CURF is available for each iteration of this survey since 1999. The CURF facilitates interrogation and analysis of survey data. For further details refer to the Microdata pages on the ABS website.

Data are also available on request. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors which in some cases may result in data being confidentialised.

It is anticipated that data from this survey will be accessible in the Survey TableBuilder environment, enabling users to create tabulated output as required. For further details refer to the Microdata pages on the ABS website.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.