4240.0.55.001 - National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/03/2013   
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In 2012, Tasmania (Tas.) was responsible for one data collection in relation to preschool programs, the Tasmanian 2012 ECEC Data Collection.

Tasmanian 2012 ECEC Collection

Institutional Environment
The organisation responsible for the Tasmanian 2012 ECEC Data Collection was the Tasmanian Department of Education (DoE). Data for the Tasmanian 2012 ECEC Data Collection were collected under the Education Act 1994 (Tas.). Worker data were collected under the Tasmanian Personal Information Protection Act 2004 (Tas.).

The data collected by Tas. DoE in the Tasmanian 2012 ECEC Data Collection were used to report on Tasmanian achievements against performance targets, as well as progress against Australian Government ECEC targets and COAG reforms. For preschools, the information obtained was also used in determining the funding of services by the Tasmanian government.

Scope: The scope of the early childhood component of the Tasmanian 2012 ECEC Data Collection consisted of all children enrolled in a preschool program in 2012. The 2012 Data Collection was managed in conjunction with the Tas Catholic Education Office and the Independent Schools of Tasmania in order to cover preschool children at non-government schools accurately.

The scope for data provided on workers included all paid and unpaid contact workers that were employed in government, Independent and Catholic schools during the reference period and were involved in service provision of a preschool program.

Coverage: All registered government schools, catholic schools, and independent schools in Tas. participated in the Tasmanian 2012 ECEC Data Collection.

Data collection methods: The Tasmanian 2012 ECEC Data Collection was conducted using a URL data collection methodology for the following statistical entities:

  • Child: data at the child record level
  • Service provider organisation: data at the service provider record level
  • Worker: data at the worker record level

The Tasmanian 2012 ECEC Data Collection is an annual collection and in 2012 was undertaken on 3 August 2012, with a reference period of 23 July to 3 August 2012. This reference fortnight was adopted by Tas. DoE to reflect the preschool delivery model in Tas. This reference fortnight was then derived by Tas. DoE to a one week reference period to enable comparison with other jurisdictions for the National ECEC Collection. Completion of the data processing and validation stage took approximately 3 months after the collection date, at which time data were delivered to the ABS.

Data sourced from the Tasmanian 2012 ECEC Data Collection for the purposes of the National ECEC Collection are published by the ABS in Preschool Education, Australia, 2012 (cat. no 4240.0).

Child level data: The process of obtaining and processing data in Tas. commenced with government service providers uploading information from each child enrolment form into the student management system ‘EduPoint’ which stored the information in a data warehouse. The data warehouse contains in-built data quality checks that provided timely data feedback to schools. Data from the warehouse were then used to populate the Tasmanian 2012 ECEC Data Collection

Worker level data: Teacher data were collected directly from the Tasmanian ECEC Workforce Microsoft access database. Qualification information for teachers and principals was collected from the Tas. ‘Teacher Registration Board’, which also holds a current record of qualifications of all teachers. All non-teacher worker qualification data were collected directly from Government, Independent and Catholic schools, as the government data warehouse does not hold non-teacher data centrally.

If a worker holds more than one qualification, the following rules apply:
  • the highest ECE qualification is reported for the worker if applicable
  • in instances where the worker does not hold an ECE qualification, then the highest teaching related qualification is reported
  • in instances where the worker does not hold a teacher qualification, the highest non-teaching related qualification is reported

All teachers in Tas. must be registered by the Tas. Teacher Registration Board. As a result of the registration process, some long-term teachers have teaching certification or relevant 3 year degrees. The registration process requires all teachers to demonstrate, through teaching experience, that they meet the criteria for an equivalent 4 year degree standard. If a teacher meets this criterion, the teachers are deemed to have a 4 year teaching qualification for registration purposes.

The collection data were reviewed and cleaned by Tas. DoE staff. This process included numerous quality checks such as confirming student ages, hours enrolled, and verifying duplicate enrolments across schools. A declaration report was sent to schools, which each principal was required to review and declare that all data were true and correct. This set of students became the authoritative dataset for the census date. Preschool data were extracted from this census dataset to match with all other data collated for the National ECEC Collection. Extensive quality assurance occurred for the attendance and teacher qualification data, to ensure that data were consistent with other Tas. DoE data sources.

Some specific validation methods applied by Tas. DoE included:
  • data code compliance with the NMDS
  • detection of inconsistent data coding. For example, teacher with no qualifications, and students with dates of birth outside expected date ranges, indicate coding errors
  • comparisons of student enrolment counts with previous year data
  • review of school summary tables by student and workforce data by various categories, i.e. Indigenous status, enrolment hours
  • students in repeat years of preschool
  • key collection outputs are meaningful

For the purposes of the National ECEC Collection, data collected through the Tas. 2012 ECEC Data Collection were comparable with data collected in 2011, as both collections were undertaken using a consistent URL data collection methodology.

Specific data elements collected using methods which did not align with the ECEC NMDS specifications are outlined below and should be taken into account when comparing data collected from each dataset. An analysis of the coherence of this collection with other jurisdictional collections should be undertaken on an individual basis, taking into account any data elements that are not consistent with the ECEC NMDS specifications. Deviations between the 2012 ECEC NMDS and data collected from the Tasmanian 2013 ECEC Collection, are outlined in table 6.6.


Data ElementDetails of Deviation

Maximum preschool program hours available (Child)The data element ‘Preschool program attendance hours’ was used as a proxy for this data element.

Child attendance and enrolment dataHours of attendance were derived from the kinder class times. Attendance was recorded per class.

Counts of Children:
It is possible for a child to be concurrently enrolled in and attending two or more preschool programs and attend preschool across years. In order to address collection requirements, it is important to be able to identify matched episode records for a child, both within a collection cycle and between years accurately.

Children in a Preschool Program in 2012:
      For Tas., counts of children enrolled in and attending preschool programs in 2012 were able to be derived, as data were collected using a URL data collection methodology.

Children in a Preschool Program in the Year before Full-time Schooling:
      As Tas. had two years of comparable data collected using a URL methodology and had a child/client database, counts of children enrolled in and attending preschool programs in the year before full-time schooling were also able to be derived.

To support data custodians participating in the Tas. 2012 ECEC Data Collection, a guide was sent to service providers along with the collection instrument to assist users with the data collection system.

Data sourced from the Tas. 2012 ECEC Data Collection for the 2012 National ECEC Collection are published at the state and territory level in Preschool Education, Australia, 2012 (cat. no 4240.0) on the ABS website.

Information Source
The information contained within this report has been sourced from Tas. DoE in consultation with the ABS. Further information is available at the Tas. DoE website www.education.tas.gov.au.

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