This document was added or updated on 28/05/2021.
Microdata: Preschool Education, Australia is compiled with data from the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection (NECECC). This collection is derived from administrative data provided by state and territory and Australian Government education departments and the Catholic Education Office of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.
The impacts to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector from COVID-19, in particular to the services delivering a ‘quality’ education program have not changed the underlying concepts of the data collected in the 2020 NECECC. Jurisdictions were provided with clarifying statements to ensure that enrolment and attendance data in an early childhood education program included online or remote learning, in addition to the usual face-to-face delivery.
Impacts of COVID-19 in the 2020 NECECC can be found in Impacts of COVI-19 of Preschool Education, Australia
A comprehensive quality declaration for each jurisdiction can be found in Appendix 3 – Jurisdictional data quality statements of Preschool Education, Australia and past releases. The National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods publication provides detailed information from the early years of the NECECC, however was no longer updated after the 2013 NECECC.
For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.
This publication is partly, conducted to support performance based reporting for the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education – 2018–2021. It aims to compile child and service provider statistics from all service providers delivering an in-scope preschool program within Australia.
The National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection population includes:
· Service providers providing a structured, play based learning program, delivered by a degree qualified teacher, aimed at children in the year or two before full-time schooling (a preschool program) during the reference period.
· Children between 3 and 6 years of age (inclusive) at 1 July who were enrolled in a preschool program during the reference period. To be considered as enrolled, the child must have attended the preschool program for at least one hour during the reference period, (including attended an early childhood education program online or remotely due to COVID-19 impacts), or be absent due to illness or extended holiday leave or due to COVID-19 impacts and expected to return.
The National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection has been conducted annually since 2010. The census date for the collection is the first Friday in August each year. Some jurisdictions may adopt a 2 week reference period that needs to include the census week.
A summary of jurisdictional collection reference periods can be found in Appendix 3 – Jurisdictional data quality statements of Preschool Education, Australia.
The microdata contains finer levels of detail for data items than published in Preschool Education, Australia. For information on the level of detail provided, please refer to the TableBuilder and DataLab data item lists in the Downloads tab.
Steps to confidentialise the data made available in TableBuilder are taken in such a way as to maximise the usefulness of the content. However, it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all the statistics produced from TableBuilder with other published statistics. Further information about the steps taken to confidentialise the microdata is available through the TableBuilder confidentiality page.
Data for the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection have been compiled according to the National standards outlined in the Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set in order to maximise consistency of data across the various jurisdictions. Alignment with these standards has not been completely achieved by all jurisdictions, and care should be taken when comparisons across jurisdictions are made. In addition, some jurisdictions were not able to provide the ABS with certain data elements as specified in the national standards.
Data quality overall is determined by the jurisdictional data submissions. Data issues are explained in Preschool Education, Australia within the Explanatory notes and Appendix 3 – Jurisdictional data quality statements.
Further information on the Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set is available on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website.
Due to jurisdictional differences in coverage, collection methodologies and alignment with the Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set standards, the data may not be directly comparable across all jurisdictions or with previous years.
Differences in the scope and counting rules for the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection mean that the data presented in the publication are not strictly comparable to data published in other national or state/territory publications.
Further information about the data sources, terminology and other technical aspects are available in the Explanatory notes section of Preschool Education, Australia and National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods
Microdata products are available to approved users. Users wishing to access the microdata should read the How to apply for Microdata web page before applying for access. Users should also familiarise themselves with information available via the Microdata Entry Page.
For further information, contact information is available on the Microdata contacts page.