QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY
The Childhood Education and Care survey (CEaCS) is conducted throughout Australia every three years in June as part of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) household survey program.
For information on the institutional environment of the ABS, including its legislative obligations, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.
The CEaCS provides information about child care arrangements and early childhood education for children aged between 0–12 years of age. 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.
As CEaCS was conducted as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) persons excluded from the LFS are also excluded from this survey (see Explanatory Notes in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for standard LFS exclusions). Exclusions included 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. Persons in all Indigenous Communities were excluded from CEaCS in 2017.
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. Relative Standard Errors (RSEs) of the estimates for this survey are included in this release.
Another measure is the Margin of Error (MOE), which describes the distance from the population value of the estimate at a given confidence level, and is specified at a given level of confidence. Confidence levels typically used are 90%, 95% and 99%. For example, at the 95% confidence level the MOE indicates that there are about 19 chances in 20 that the estimate will differ by less than the specified MOE from the population value (the figure obtained if all dwellings had been enumerated). The MOEs in this publication are calculated at the 95% confidence level.
The ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey. Sound survey practice, however, requires ongoing development and maintenance to maintain the integrity of the data and the efficiency of the collection. For changes between iterations of the survey, please refer to the Explanatory Notes. For a full list of changes made to the LFS, see Chapter 19.1 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) and Information Paper: Forthcoming Changes to Labour Force Statistics (cat no. 6292.0).
After each Census, population estimates are normally revised back five years to the previous Census year. As announced in the June 2012 issue of Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0), intercensal error between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses was larger than normal due to improved methodologies used in the 2011 Census Post Enumeration Survey. The intercensal error analysis indicated that previous population estimates for the base Census years were over-counted. An indicative estimate of the size of the over-count is that there should have been 240,000 fewer people at June 2006, 130,000 fewer in 2001 and 70,000 fewer in 1996. As a result, Estimated Resident Population estimates were revised for the previous 20 years rather than the usual five.
Consequently, estimates of particular populations derived since CEaCS 2014 may be lower than those published for previous years as the CEaCS estimates have not been revised. Therefore, comparisons of CEaCS 2014 and CEaCS 2017 estimates of the number of children or families with previous years should not be made. However, for comparable data items, comparison of rates or proportions between years is appropriate.
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 measures of sampling error (RSE, MOE) are available in Excel spreadsheets which can be accessed from the Downloads tab.
Data from this survey will also be accessible in the TableBuilder environment, enabling users to create their own customised output as required. For further details, refer to the Microdata Entry Page 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.
For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.