4720.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: User Guide, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/05/2016   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

CHILD EVENTS AND CARE


This chapter provides information on the 2014–15 NATSISS topics relating to positive life events experienced by children and child care, both formal and informal.

Positive life events child

The 2014–15 NATSISS collected information on positive experiences a child may have had in the 12 months prior to interview. Proxies of selected children were asked if at any time during the 12 months prior to interview the child had any of the following positive experiences:

  • came top of the class in something at school (children aged 4–14 years);
  • received an award, prize or other formal recognition of achievement (children aged 4–14 years);
  • went on a holiday or trip away with family or other people (children aged 0–14 years); or
  • none of the above.

More than one response could be provided. People may have also chosen not to answer these questions.

Proxies were also asked to provide the number of days per week children aged 3–14 years spent with community leaders or elders, excluding those who lived with the child. Response categories included:
  • everyday;
  • 5 to 6 days per week;
  • 2 to 4 days per week;
  • once per week;
  • less than once per week;
  • never; and
  • no Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander leaders/elders in the community.

Comparison to the 2008 NATSISS

The 2008 NATSISS collected information on whether children aged 4–14 years had a positive experience with the police in the 12 months prior to interview — this information was not collected in 2014–15. In 2008, information on whether a child went on holiday or a trip away in the 12 months prior to interview was collected for children aged 4–14 years. In 2014–15, the population was expanded to children aged 0–14 years in 2014–15.

Child care

The 2008 NATSISS collected information on both:
  • formal child care; and
  • informal child care.

Questions about child care were asked of proxies for selected children aged 0–12 years.

Formal child care

Formal child care is regulated care away from the child's home, for which parents/guardians normally must pay. Information was collected on the use of, demand for, and barriers to accessing formal child care. Proxies of selected children aged 0–12 years were asked if the child used any of the following types of formal child care in the week prior to interview. More than one response could be provided. The list of response categories included:
  • before and/or after school care;
  • long day care centres;
  • family day care (excluding friends or relatives who care for a child on a regular but informal basis);
  • occasional care centres;
  • other non-home centres whose primary function is care of children (excluding vacation care);
  • no formal child care used in the last week; and
  • no formal child care available.

If formal child care had been used in the week prior to interview, the number of days and hours of attendance were recorded. If the number of hours attended in the week prior to interview was different to the number of hours per week the child usually attended formal child care, the usual number of hours was also recorded.

If the proxy responded that no formal child care was used in the week prior to interview, they were asked if it was usual for the child not to attend any formal child care during the week. If the child usually attended some type of formal child care during the week, the usual number of hours per week was recorded.

For all children who attended formal child care, including those who did not attend in the week prior to interview but who usually attended, the main reason for doing so was collected. Response categories included:
  • parental work commitments;
  • parental study commitments;
  • parent looking for work;
  • parental sport, shopping, social, volunteer or community activities;
  • to give parent a break or time alone;
  • so parent can attend to own, partner's or relative's health needs;
  • a good way to prepare child for school;
  • good for child's intellectual or language development;
  • good for child's social development to mix with other children of same age; and
  • other reason.

For children who did not usually attend formal child care, and for those who had no formal child care available, the proxy was asked if the child required formal child care and how many hours per week were required. For all other children aged 0–12 years the proxy was asked if the child required more formal child care and the number of additional hours per week required.

The proxies of children aged 0–12 years were also asked the main reason (more) formal child care wasn't used. Response categories included:
  • parent able to look after child;
  • child too young/old;
  • transport/distance;
  • cost/too expensive;
  • prefer other type of care;
  • time/days available not suitable;
  • child's preference;
  • child has special needs;
  • parent(s) unhappy with service/carers;
  • not yet applied;
  • child is on a waiting list to attend;
  • formal child care available isn't Indigenous specific;
  • no formal child care service available;
  • booked out/not enough places;
  • made other arrangements;
  • child is able to look after themselves; and
  • other reason.

The category 'other reason' includes people who identified that they don't want or don't need child care, or that they have sufficient care available for their child.

Informal child care

The 2014–15 NATSISS collected information on the types of informal child care used by children aged 0–14 years and the pattern of usage. Informal child care includes:
  • any person, other than the child's main carer(s), who looked after the child; and
  • organisations, other than formal child care organisations, who provided care.

Proxies were first asked about types of informal child care used in the week prior to interview and then about types of informal child care usually used. For each question, more than one response was allowed. Response categories included:
  • mother;
  • father;
  • grandparent;
  • child's brother or sister;
  • other relative;
  • family friend;
  • babysitter;
  • nanny;
  • neighbour;
  • any other person;
  • an organisation (other than formal care organisations); and
  • no-one.

More than one response could be provided. If at least one type of informal child care was usually used, then the proxy was asked about the frequency of use, based on the following:
  • daily;
  • five to six times a week;
  • three to four times a week;
  • twice a week;
  • once a week;
  • less often; and
  • not known.

Users should note the following two data items that are incorrectly labelled in the summary publication and TableBuilder Data Item Lists:
  • Informal child care providers other than proxy who looked after child last week; and
  • Informal child care providers other than proxy who usually look after child.

In both instances, the data item represents data in respect to 'other than main carer' rather than 'other than proxy'. Expanded CURF users should note that both labels have been corrected on the Expanded CURF and its Data Item List.

Comparison to the 2008 NATSISS

Formal child care

The 2008 NATSISS collected information on whether there was a preference for the child to use formal child care services run for and by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. This information was not collected in 2014–15.

Between 2008 and 2014–15 there was a minor revision to one response category to the question about the main reason (more) formal child care wasn't used. In 2014–15, the first category was 'parent able to look after child'. In 2008 this category was 'parent not working so able to look after child' and included parents who worked, but were able to look after their child when they were not working (eg in the evening or during non-working hours for parents employed part-time).

Informal child care

In the 2008 NATSISS, informal child care providers included the child's parent(s), only where the parent(s) did not live with the child. In 2014–15, the child's parent(s) may have been selected as an informal child care provider, regardless of where they were living.

Between 2008 and 2014–15, there was a minor revision to the response categories to the question about frequency of use of informal child care, with the addition of 'five to six times a week' in 2014–15.