4240.0.55.002 - National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Data Collection Guide, 2011  
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Technical name: Service provider organisation - preschool program attendance hours, total hours N[NNNN]
METeOR identifier: 441275
METeOR link: http://meteor.aihw.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/441275
METeOR definition: The total number of hours of a preschool program that children attended at this service.

Inclusions: For all early childhood education and care services that deliver a preschool program:

  • Total hours that all children have attended at the preschool program component of the service, in the reference period.
  • Hours attended in non-preschool programs offered by the service provider.
  • Early childhood education and care services that do not deliver a preschool program.

Underlying Concepts
Concept: Preschool program hours attended.
Nominal definition: Consistent with METeOR definition.
Operational definition:
  • For LDCs: consistent with METeOR definition.
  • For stand-alone or school-based preschools: the total number of hours of a preschool program that children have attended, derived from preschool program sessions attended per week.
Supporting data elements:
This data element is used by the ABS in conjunction with the total number of children attending (attendance episodes) to derive average weekly hours attended per child (per episode) at the service provider level. Conceptual issues:
  • A child is defined as having attended a preschool program if they attended for at least one hour during the reference period. Children who were absent during the reference period due to illness or extended holiday leave should be excluded.
  • The operational definition differs from the nominal definition for stand-alone or school-based preschools as due to the preschool program delivery methods used in these services. It may not be possible or practical to record actual hours of attendance.
  • Therefore, hours attended may be derived from preschool program sessions attended, which may result in under-reporting of the actual hours attended by children at the service.

Standard Jurisdictional Output Categories
Representation class: Total
Data type: Number
Format: N[NNNN], for example: 570
Maximum character length: 5
Unit of measure: Hour (h)
Supplementary values:
      0 - Nil
      ns - Not stated/inadequately described


Edit specificationsEdit resolution

If field is blank.Provide a valid number of attending hours, otherwise amend to ‘0’ for nil hours or code ‘ns’ for unknown.

If character length is greater than 5.Provide a valid number of attending hours.

If total number of hours attended is greater than the total number of hours enrolled in a preschool program.Provide a valid number of enrolled and attending hours. Verify that enrolment hours are equal to or greater than attendance hours.

Guide for Use
Counting rules:
  • Attendance hours for stand-alone preschools or preschools attached to a school should be derived by recording the number of whole sessions attended by the child and deriving hours from the usual length of each session. When a child attends part of a session, this should be recorded and counted as a half session if possible. Alternatively, if recording part session attendances are not possible, a part session attendance should be recorded as an absence for the whole session, with zero attendance hours recorded for this session.
  • Attendance hours for a preschool program delivered in a Long Day Care (LDC) should be calculated by recording the child's arrival and departure times from the preschool program. Hours should then be derived from these times.
  • The total number of hours of a preschool program children attended should be collected for each preschool program available at the service. These data should then be aggregated to the service provider level for reporting purposes.
  • Attendance hours in non-instructional activities such as recess, tea breaks and lunch breaks should be included if the child was under the supervision of the service provider organisation.
  • Where the service provider offers other integrated child care services, the hours associated with these services should be excluded from this data element.
  • Jurisdictions that adopt a two week reference period are required to derive their data to a representative week.

Classification Definitions
CODE ns - Not stated/inadequately described
For use when the number of preschool program hours attended at the service provider is unknown, not stated or inadequately described. Where the number of hours attended is unknown, the ABS requests that jurisdictions identify the reason for the unknown response and document any follow-up processes undertaken.

Other Information
Related URL data element: Preschool program hours attended.

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