4240.0.55.002 - National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Data Collection Guide, 2011  
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Technical name: Child - preschool program hours attended (per week), total hours N[N]
METeOR identifier: 436128
METeOR link: http://meteor.aihw.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/436128
METeOR definition: The total number of hours of a preschool program that a child has attended per week.

Inclusions: Total hours that the child attended the preschool program in the reference period, for:

  • Children that have attended for at least one hour during the reference period.
  • Hours that the child has attended in non-preschool programs offered by the service provider.
  • Children who were enrolled but did not attend a preschool program in the reference period.
  • Children who were absent during the reference period due to illness or extended holiday leave.
  • Children not enrolled in 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 a child has attended derived from preschool program sessions attended per week.
Supporting data elements: Preschool program attendance indicator
Conceptual issues:
  • 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 over-reporting or under-reporting of the actual hours attended by the child.
  • 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.

Standard Jurisdictional Output Categories
Representation class: Total
Data type: Number
Format: N[N], for example: 15
Maximum character length: 2
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 2.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 and verify that enrolment hours are equal to or greater than attendance hours.

Guide for Use
Counting rules:
  • Record the total number of whole hours that the child is in attendance at the preschool program, i.e. minutes should be rounded to the nearest whole hour.
  • 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 an 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.
  • Include hours attended in non-instructional activities such as recess, tea breaks and lunch breaks if the child remained under the supervision of the service provider for these activities.
  • Where the service provider offers other integrated child care services, the hours associated with these services should be excluded from this data element.
  • Jurisdictions which adopt a two week reference period are required to derive their data to a representative reference week.

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

Other Information
Related aggregate data elements: Total hours of preschool program attended.

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