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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Contents >> Collection Scope and Coverage >> Preschool Provider Frame


For both 2011 and 2012 collection cycles, the ABS developed a Preschool Provider Frame (PPF) to obtain a comprehensive national picture of the number of known service providers delivering a preschool program. The two primary purposes for the PPF were to:

  • better determine the coverage of the National ECEC Collection; and
  • supplement jurisdictional data with data from the Child Care Management System (CCMS) for 2011 and 2012, at both the service provider level and child level.

In 2011, the ABS conducted the Preschool Provider Survey, and in 2012 DEEWR conducted a similar survey as well as targeted communication strategies to improve the coverage of CCMS data. These included:
  • promotion of the Preschool module in the CCMS newsletter
  • targeted emails to services prior to the reference week
  • follow-up email/phone survey to update CCMS data in the reference week
  • imputation of child records where necessary, to supplement the CCMS extract with survey information.

The 2012 DEEWR Follow-up survey focused on 3 population groups. These included:
  • services that reported a preschool program in CCMS in 2011, but not in 2012
  • new services since the 2011 collection that were not reporting a preschool program
  • services that were identified in the 2011 ABS Preschool Frame Survey as delivering a preschool program, but not recorded as such in the CCMS 2012 reference week.

Provider Frame: Key Outcomes

The project initially focused on confirming the existence of preschool programs operating at CCMS-registered LDCs. A telephone survey was conducted by the ABS in late 2011, confirming the existence of a preschool program and subsequent preschool enrolments at targeted service providers. Where preschool was confirmed, child enrolments were utilised in the 2011 National ECEC Collection to produce enhanced estimates of preschool in Australia. A similar supplementary collection activity was conducted by DEEWR in 2012, and data were included in the CCMS extract provided to the ABS for the 2012 National ECEC Collection.

During construction of the PPF dataset a range of quality issues were identified. Data providers across jurisdictions were unable to supply service provider characteristics to the required National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) standards.

To capitalise on initial achievements of the 2011/2012 PPF project and ensure the benefits are maximised from the 2011 Collection, maintenance of the frame for subsequent collection cycles has been automated. The over-arching concept of an enduring frame is to establish register of all ECE source providers to accompany the National ECEC Collection.


Level of coverage for the PPF varies between sector and preschool program delivery setting. Below is an outline of coverage for each of these sectors.

Long Day Care with a preschool program
The PPF project, and subsequent 2012 DEEWR supplementary communication and collection activities, have improved the coverage of service providers reported as delivering a preschool program within CCMS.

Although there have been some collection improvements, there is still an unknown level of under-coverage of service provider which are delivering a preschool program and are not currently captured in CCMS or state and territory ECEC collections.

Non-Government Service Providers
The 2012 PPF project identified a potential under-coverage of non-government preschools. 2012 collection development activities have improved collection coverage, however there still remains evidence to suggest that collection under-coverage exists within the 2012 National ECEC Collection. The non-government under-coverage can be explained by funding and service provision arrangements and existing collection authority within the states and territories. Given that non-government under-coverage remains a problem for the National ECEC Collection, states and territories are encouraged to continue exploring methods to improve non-government preschool collection for future collection cycles.

A summary of the results of the 2012 PPF is included as an appendix to the release of the publication Preschool Education, Australia, 2012 (cat. no 4240.0), released in March 2013.

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