4240.0 - Preschool Education, Australia, 2015 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/03/2016   
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MEDIA RELEASE
18 March 2016
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)
32/2016
Preschool, long day care give early learners a head start


Four-year-olds made up 82 per cent of Australia's 325,273 children aged four or five enrolled in a preschool program in 2015, while 18 per cent were aged five according to a report published today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"These enrolments were almost equally split between preschools and long day care centres," said Patrick Corr from the ABS.

"Attendance was above 90 per cent for all states and territories, with the exception of the Northern Territory, where 87 per cent of four-year-olds and 78 per cent of five-year-olds enrolled in a preschool program also attended in the reference week," Mr Corr said.

"Most children attending a preschool program attended for 15 hours or more per week (71 per cent). Of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children attending, 66 per cent attended for 15 hours or more per week."

"Nationally, more than one in four preschool program enrolments were fee-free and over half had low out-of-pocket costs (between $1AUD and $4 AUD per hour)".

Data for the report was sourced from preschool program service providers, collected by the Australian, state and territory governments.

Further information can be found in Preschool Education, Australia, 2015 (cat. no. 4240.0) available for free download from the ABS website (http://www.abs.gov.au).

Media note

  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • A preschool program is a structured, play-based learning program, delivered by a degree qualified teacher, aimed at children in the year or two before they commence full-time schooling.
  • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).