Australian Bureau of Statistics
4240.0.55.001 - National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection Manual, 2010
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NEW SOUTH WALES
Children's Services Data Collection
Due to the inherent differences between URL and aggregate data collection methodologies, the ABS did not disseminate aggregate data collected by NSW Community Services for the 2010 National ECEC Collection, as it was not comparable with data collected through the URL collection. This aggregate component represented a small proportion of service providers in the overall collection.
The organisation responsible for the Children's Services Data Collection was Community Services, Department of Human Services NSW (Community Services).
The data collected by NSW Community Services was used for the NSW government's reporting commitments, and to assist with the evaluation and planning of service provision. For preschools, the information obtained was used to determine the funding that will be provided for the next year and the projected annual subsidy amounts for the Early Childhood Teacher Costs Contribution Scheme. This scheme offsets the cost for the employment and professional development of early childhood teachers. Data were also used for monitoring the Children's Services Program funded services and reporting to the Commonwealth on achievements against targets.
The Children's Services Data Collection included all children aged 0 to 6 years old attending an in-scope service who did not receive or were not eligible for the Child Care Benefit (CCB) or the Child Care Rebate (CCR). In-scope organisations for 2010 included:
Community managed preschools in NSW were mandated to participate in the annual data collection as they were licensed, monitored and funded by NSW Community Services, and therefore full coverage in the collection was achieved from these preschools. However, only children who did not receive or were not eligible for the CCB or the CCR were included in the collection.
A substantial proportion of preschools in NSW were commercial for-profit LDCs, managed by the private sector. These services do not receive funding from NSW Community Services and therefore it was difficult to collect data from them. All providers registered for the CCB and the CCR were excluded from the 2010 Children's Services Data Collection. The Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set (ECEC NMDS) defines that a preschool program can operate in an LDC if the program comprises a structured education program usually provided by a qualified teacher. Jurisdictional collections currently do not have full coverage of preschool programs being delivered in LDC as defined by the ECEC NMDS for the National ECEC Collection. Data sourced from the Child Care Management System (CCMS) is required to achieve full coverage of preschool activity in LDC nationally. CCMS preschool data was not included in the 2010 collection due to the required information not being collected. In the future, the National ECEC Collection aims to include information on preschool programs provided within LDC through the CCMS.
The Children's Services Data Collection collected data at a range of levels at both URL and aggregate level as follows:
The collection was undertaken on the NSW census date of 20 August 2010, for a representative fortnight of 9 August to 20 August 2010. The collection reference period adopted by NSW Community Services did not align with the recommended August collection reference period adopted by the other jurisdictions for the 2010 National ECEC Collection.
All service providers were required to return data to NSW Community Services by 10 September 2010. Completion of the data processing and validation stage took approximately 2 to 3 months after the collection date, at which time the data were delivered to the ABS.
All providers funded by NSW Community Services and offering a preschool service were required to participate in the collection. In 2010 preschool service providers were encouraged to use a new online data entry system, however the existing online format also remained available for the 2010 collection, for those service providers that preferred that method.
The new on-line collection tool allowed preschool service providers to:
Service providers entered data from child enrolment forms into their service provider data repository. During the collection period, data from this repository was used by the service provider to populate child enrolment information. Service providers also entered additional data into the on-line database at unit record level to meet the collection requirements. After this was completed, data entry requirement restrictions were used to ensure the required data were entered before the data could be submitted. The data was then sent to an off-line database (NSW Community Services data repository) for storage. The user then received an automatic report via e-mail confirming that data had been submitted successfully and received by NSW Community Services.
The 2010 data collection did not collect Statistical Linkage Key (SLK) information, therefore identification of duplicate records across multiple services was not possible. NSW plans to collect SLK information for 2011, which will make it possible to identify duplicate records.
NSW Community Services ensured that all services submitted compulsory data. The online form used by services contained some validation rules that prevented inconsistent and missing data. During the data collection period, services could call a 1300 phone number to clarify counting rules and data collection procedures. After the data collection period, services were able to change their data by notifying NSW Community Services if they identified an error.
In addition, all submitted data were cross-checked for consistency with operational characteristics such as approved number of places and opening hours at each service, so that obvious errors were identified. Previous years data were also compared and, where large variations had occurred, services were contacted to determine whether errors had occurred in current year's data. Regional staff also undertook random audits of services after the collection period.
In 2010 NSW Community Services collected some data through the Children's Services Data Collection using an URL data collection methodology (i.e. if service providers opted to use the new on-line form).
In the collection reference period, a child may be enrolled and attend two or more preschool programs. In order to address key collection requirements, it is important to be able to count each child once. A child may be ‘double counted’ in a number of ways and a URL collection itself may not be able to completely address all the occurrences where double counting of a child may occur. Care needs to be taken when interpreting URL child data from NSW Community Services due to double counting that may have occurred:
Further information on URL data elements:
NSW Community Services also collected some data using an aggregate data collection methodology (i.e. if service providers opted to use the existing online form). For the 2010 collection, the aggregate data collected by NSW Community Services was not disseminated as the data was not comparable with data collected through the URL collection. This aggregate component represented a small proportion of service providers in the overall collection.
NSW provided a range of key information via manuals and fact sheets, such as the 2010 Census Booklet and Coding Instructions, to assist in the reporting of data, correct interpretation and explanation of concepts.
National and jurisdictional level information is published in Experimental Estimates of Preschool Education, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 4240.0) on the ABS website.
NSW Department of Education and Training Census
Data from government preschools were collected from the Department of Education and Training Census.
The organisation responsible for the Department of Education and Training Census was the NSW Department of Education and Training (DET).
In 2010 the DET conducted a census on all preschools attached to government primary schools and achieved complete coverage of these service providers. The data collected by DET enabled reporting across the NSW ECEC sector for a variety of reporting requirements.
The scope of this collection included all children aged 3 to 6 years old who were attending a preschool program at a government school in NSW.
The scope of this collection included:
The collection was undertaken on the NSW DET census date at 6 August 2010 for a representative week of 2 August to 6 August 2010. Completion of the data processing and validation stage took approximately 2 to 3 months after the collection date, at which time the data were delivered to the ABS.
All DET preschools were required to participate in the collection by completing a paper-based collection form. There were three sections to the preschool census collection:
During the collection period, service providers completed collection forms by entering enrolment data and additional information to meet the collection requirements. Service providers uploaded the information from each child's enrolment form into the government service provider data repository. DET then supplied data from this repository to NSW Community Services, where it was stored in the NSW Community Services data repository.
The ABS sources the data from this repository for the 2010 National ECEC Collection. Once data is received by the ABS, additional validation is carried out.
In a collection reference period, a child may be enrolled in and attend two or more preschool programs. In order to address key collection requirements, it is important to be able to count each child once. A child may be ‘double counted’ in a number of ways and a URL collection itself may not be able to address all the occurrences where double counting of a child may occur. Care needs to be taken when interpreting URL child data from NSW DET due to double counting that may have occurred:
NSW DET were able to identify double counting and apply appropriate methods for the following situations:
For 2010 DET data, the following data elements were not provided:
Further information on data elements:
Limited information is known as to the types of explanatory fact sheets or manuals which assist in the collection of data.
National and jurisdictional level information is published in Experimental Estimates of Preschool Education, Australia, 2010 (cat. no. 4240.0), on the ABS website.
The information contained within this report has been sourced from NSW Community Services website and the Department of Education and Training website in addition to consultations held between NSW Community Services and the ABS. Further information is available at the NSW Community Services website <http://www.community.nsw.gov.au> and DET website <http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au>.
This page last updated 6 March 2012
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