4240.0.55.002 - National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Data Collection Guide, 2011  
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Contents >> Collection Specifications >> Unit Record Level Data Instructions - Collection Specifications


The 2011 URL data request template for the National ECEC Collection is provided in an Excel spread-sheet format. The ECEC entities of Child, Service provider organisation and Worker are on separate worksheets. Each entity is linked by the common Service provider organisation data element Organisation identifier.


With the implementation of the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) from 1 July 2011, an additional column is included in the data template for the ASGS geographical area (Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1) or Mesh Block (MB)), for both child and service provider. The ASGS classification is not included in the 2011 ECEC NMDS and is an additional requested data element. For information to assist with the move from the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) to the ASGS refer to the ABS website at www.abs.gov.au/geography or email the ABS at education.statistics@abs.gov.au.


Six new data elements have been included in the URL ECEC National Minimum Data Set (ECEC NMDS) for 2011. These include:

Child data elements:

Service provider organisation data elements:
Worker data elements:


Area of usual residence - ASGS 2011 (Statistical Area Level 1/Mesh Block) (Child and Service provider organisation)
To align with the new geography standard, the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) is progressively being implemented from July 2011. The ABS requests that either Statistical Area Level 1 or Mesh Block be provided, in addition to Collection District (CD), for both Child and Service provider organisation data. The collection of both these geography standards will allow for 2011 data to be comparable to future collections when ASGS is fully implemented.

Address line (Child)
The 2011 ECEC NMDS does not include a Child level data element for address line. To enable derivation of an accurate geographic location for each child, the ABS requests that jurisdictions include the child's full street address with the data element Suburb/town/locality name. If jurisdictions are unable to provide this information, the CD and the SA1/MB, need to be provided to ensure that geographical dissemination of the data can be undertaken. Refer to the example provided in the URL data request template (child worksheet, cell P4) for further information. Chapter 2, Data Element Collection Instructions, includes further detail on how to collect and report data for the child's address.

State/territory funding indicator (Service provider organisation)
An additional Service provider organisation data element is also requested, the State/territory funding indicator, which is not currently part of the 2011 ECEC NMDS. This data element has been included to explore the capacity of data collected in the National ECEC Collection to be used as a source for Report on Government Services (RoGS) reporting. The data collected from this data element will be used for testing and comparison with data collected for the Children's Services chapter of the RoGS.

All data elements are described in the 'metadata dictionary' sheet within the URL data request template. More detailed descriptions are provided in Chapter 2, Data Element Collection Instructions, and the 2011 URL ECEC NMDS.


Care should be taken to ensure correct classification codes are recorded for Service provider organisation data elements: Management type, Service activity type and Service delivery setting, as new categories and changes to categories have occurred in the 2011 ECEC NMDS. For more information on these changes and other definitional or wording changes, see the Appendix - Overview of Changes to the ECEC NMDS.


The child statistical linkage key (SLK) assists with the statistical identification of unique child records across data sets. Jurisdictions must ensure that the 5-8-1 format comprising letters of family name, letters of given name, date of birth and sex are brought together (concatenated in that order) to form a 14 character string. The elements of SLK 581 are:
  • The 2nd, 3rd and 5th letters of the child's family name (XXX)
  • The 2nd and 3rd letters of the child's given name (XX)
  • The day, month and year that the child was born (DDMMYYYY)
  • The sex of the child (1=male, 2=female, 3=intersex or indeterminate, 9=not stated)

For example, a girl named Jane Smith, born on 01/01/2007 would have a SLK of MIHAN010120072. For further information regarding the composition and counting rules relevant to the SLK, see Chapter 2, Data Element Collection Instructions.


Statistical Entity: Child
  • Statistical linkage key
  • Date of birth
  • Indigenous status
  • Letters of family name
  • Letters of given name
  • Sex
  • Maximum preschool program hours available
  • Preschool program attendance indicator
  • Preschool program received from a qualified teacher indicator
  • Preschool program enrolment indicator
  • Preschool program fees charged
  • Preschool program hours attended
  • Preschool program hours enrolled
  • Preschool program repeater indicator
  • Suburb/town/locality name (including Address line)
  • Postcode - Australian
  • Australian state/territory identifier
  • Area of usual residence - ASGC 2010 (Collection District)
  • Area of usual residence - ASGS 2011 (Mesh Block or Statistical Area Level 1) (additional data element)

Statistical entity: Service provider organisation
  • Organisation identifier
  • Organisation name
  • Address line
  • Suburb/town/locality name
  • Postcode - Australian
  • Geographic location - ASGC 2010 (Collection District)
  • Geographic location - ASGS 2011 (Mesh Block or Statistical Area Level 1) (additional data element)
  • State or territory funding indicator (additional data element)
  • Management type
  • Service activity type
  • Service delivery setting
  • Number of preschool program service operation weeks (calendar year)

Statistical entity: Worker
  • Paid employment indicator
  • Type of work activity
  • Role of early childhood education and care worker
  • Field of highest qualification relevant to early childhood education and care
  • Level of highest qualification relevant to early childhood education and care
  • Preschool program delivered by a teacher indicator
  • Hours worked in preschool program delivery

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