The Australian Government Census of Child Care Services has been conducted regularly since 1986. 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. Externally the data is made available to State and local governments, peak child care organisations and for research into child care. The report contains information about child care users, staff and carers and operational details of child care services.