ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
In 2008, the importance of education in the early years of a child's development was formally acknowledged through the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) endorsement of a new National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education (NP ECE).
This publication contains statistics of children's enrolment and attendance at preschool programs across Australia in 2012, collected through the National Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Collection.
For further information on the NP ECE and the collection please see the National ECEC Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001) and the National ECEC Collection: Data Collection Guide (cat. no. 4240.0.55.002).
This publication draws extensively on information provided by the Australian Government, state and territory governments and the ACT Catholic Education Office. Their continued cooperation enables the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to publish a wide range of education statistics. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
The National ECEC Collection consists of administrative data provided by the Australian Government and the state and territory departments with responsibility for early childhood education and care and the ACT Catholic Education Office. At the core of the collection is the Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set (ECEC NMDS). The ECEC NMDS contains standards for which the Australian government and state and territory governments have committed to in regards to collecting statistics on Early Childhood Education (ECE) within their respective jurisdictions. All jurisdictions have worked closely with the ABS to align their individual collections with the ECEC NMDS and significant achievements have been made in 2012.
Information presented in past editions have been labelled as 'Experimental Estimates' due to a number of data quality and coverage issues associated with the National ECEC Collection. These issues have been addressed significantly in the 2012 collection and estimates are no longer labelled as experimental.
For further information on the ECEC NMDS and the collection methodologies and coverage within each of the jurisdictions, please see the National ECEC Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001).
ROUNDING AND CONFIDENTIALITY
The hours and fees relating to children attending or enrolled in early childhood education programs presented in this publication have been rounded so that they could be assigned to distinct ranges. Small values have been perturbed or suppressed to protect confidentiality.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.