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3.1 PROGRAM TERMINOLOGY AND AGE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS, BY STATE AND TERRITORY, 2012(a)
(b) Program is compulsory from age 6.
(c) Program is non-compulsory. Children starting school from age 6 can enrol into Year 1.
(d) Program is compulsory from age 5.
(e) Indigenous children and children under the guardianship of the Minister may commence preschool from 3 years of age.
(f) For Indigenous children in remote areas, age requirement is 3 years old by 30 June.
Enrolment in a preschool program
For the purposes of the National ECEC Collection, a child is considered to be enrolled in a preschool program if the child has been offered a place in a preschool program and is actively attending. A child is considered to be attending preschool if they attended the preschool program for at least one hour in the reference period or were absent during the reference period due to illness or extended holiday leave, but expected to return.
Attendance in a preschool program
For the purposes of the National ECEC Collection, a child is considered to be attending if the child is enrolled in a preschool program and has attended the preschool program for at least one hour during the reference period.
For the purposes of the National ECEC Collection, an ECEC worker is defined at the broadest level as a contact worker who has paid employment with an ECEC service provider (including contract, part-time and full-time workers) who delivered a preschool program in the collection reference period.
The formal definition of a teacher for the purposes of the national ECEC Collection is still under development. The 2012 National ECEC Collection output definition is defined as; ‘a primary contact worker delivering a face to face structured play-based preschool program education for at least one hour per week during the collection reference period who has a university qualification in early childhood education’. The formal teacher definition is currently being negotiated in the context of future ECEC National Minimum Data Set (NMDS).
More information on worker and teacher specifications can be found in 'Chapter 1: Collection Specifications' of the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Data Collection Guide, 2012 (cat. no 4240.0.55.002).
For more information on how a worker/teacher is defined for each state and territory see Chapter 5: overview of ECEC in Australia.