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4402.0 - Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2011 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/05/2012   
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4 May 2012
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Half of all children aged 12 years or younger attend child care

In June 2011, 1.9 million children usually attended one or more types of child care, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Of the 3.6 million children aged 12 years or younger, just over half (52%) usually attended one or more types of child care.

Of all children aged 12 years or younger, 864,300 (24%) were in formal care and 1.4 million (39%) were in informal care.

A quarter of all children (26%) were cared for by their grandparents, while 14% attended long day care.

Children in one parent families (55%) were more likely to attend informal care than children in couple families (35%).

Of those children who usually attended formal care, 40% (343,800) attended for less than 10 hours per week, and 9% attended for 35 hours or more per week.

For the majority of children (63%) in formal care, the usual cost was less than $80 per week. A large majority of children (92% or 1.3 million) who usually attended informal care did so at no cost.

In addition, parents reported participating in a variety of informal learning activities with their children. Parents were most likely to participate in reading activities, with 80% of 0–2 year olds and 96% of 3–8 year olds being involved in reading activities with their parents in the reference week.

Further details are in Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2011 (cat. no. 4402.0), available for free download from

Media Notes:
  • Informal care types include care by (step) brothers or sisters, grandparents, other relatives (including a non-resident parent) and care by other people such as friends, neighbours, nannies or babysitters.
  • Formal care types include Before and after school care, Long day care, Family day care and Occasional care.
  • Child care includes both formal and informal care. A child may attend multiple types of formal and informal care, and appear in the reported figures for each type.
  • Cost reported above is estimated net cost, after application of Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. Please see publication for more details on how cost was calculated.
  • When reporting ABS data the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.

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