LINKING STATISTICAL LINKAGE KEY
Identification of unique child records can be achieved through the statistical linkage key (SLK) to identify linking child episode records. The SLK can only provide estimated counts of unique child records as it is possible for two or more children to have coincidental identical SLKs. The application by data providers of a child/client database, which contains across year child details including name, date of birth and address information for each child in the data set can further assist in identifying coincidental links of SLK. This process only assists in the identification of coincidental links within a jurisdictional data submission for the National ECEC Collection.
For the 2012 National ECEC Collection, the ABS also requested an additional data element to the NMDS to support improved accuracy of unique child counts. This additional data element was the ‘SLK Match Code’, which facilitates the correct handling of scenarios where identical SLKs belong to two or more children. Data providers assign an SLK Match code to a child only where two or more episode records are related to that child.