A key requirement of the National Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Collection is that jurisdictions are required to provide data to the ABS which has been collected using a unit record level (URL) data collection methodology. Where this is not possible, data by way of an aggregate level data collection methodology is accepted, however jurisdictions are encouraged to continue to work towards the collection and provision of data using a URL methodology for all sectors. The collection of data using a URL methodology for the National ECEC Collection is required to enable accurate reporting on the number of children who are enrolled in or attending preschool (as well as enabling reporting of episodes of enrolments and attendances). Aggregate collection methodologies only enable reporting on episodes of enrolment or attendance, not numbers of children enrolled or attending, due to a limited capacity for identifying children enrolled in or attending multiple preschools programs. These concepts are further outlined within the publication National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2012 (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001).
This chapter provides instructions for the provision of data to the ABS using both URL and aggregate data collection methodologies.