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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Child Episode Counts vs Unique Child Counts

A key outcome of the National ECEC Collection is to report the number of children enrolled in and attending preschool programs. In order to report accurately on the number of children who have received an early childhood education program, a requirement of the collection is to count each child once. Given the complexity of the service delivery models for ECEC across Australia, it is a statistical challenge to identify children attending multiple preschool programs within the collection reference period. It is also a challenge to report accurately the number of children enrolled in and attending a preschool program, without counting an individual child more than once.

When a child attends two different preschool programs, this is described as a child attending two episodes of preschool. This child is only counted once in the total numbers of children enrolled and attending (child counts). All preschool episodes associated with a child are included in the total enrolment and attendance episodes of preschool.

In the example within figure 3.1, Sam Watson and Polly Smith both attend two different service providers which are responsible for delivering two separate episodes of preschool to Sam and Polly. James Jackson, Kelly Hodges and John Woods each only attend one episode of preschool. In the above example there are 7 episodes of preschool and this relates to 5 different children. See the Glossary, for further information on the concept of an ‘episode’.

Figure 3.1 Relationship of Episode counts, and Child counts

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