For the 2012 National ECEC Collection, the ABS implemented an enhanced methodology for linking of child records within and between source data files. This methodology was introduced to improve the National Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) collection further by maximising the coverage of data provided to the ABS for the National ECEC Collection. The following discussion provides information on the 2012 methodological procedures in relation to how child data were reconciled into the collection output populations: ‘Episodes of preschool’, ‘Children in 2012’ and ‘Children in the Year before full-time schooling’ (YBFS).
A child record consists of one or more episodes. For more information refer to figure 3.1 Relationship of Episode counts, and Child counts.
The conceptual decision about whether episodes relate to a child was completed through two main processes. The first was linking on SLK plus SLK Match Code or SLK plus geography, the second occurs after linking within a service provider.
The process used by the 2012 National ECEC Collection to establish confirmed unique child records. Outlined below in figure 3.8 ‘Creation of Unique Child Records from Episode Records’. This process begins by:
SLK linking within file sources:
This includes children who may be attending multiple episodes of preschool at one service provider, or multiple episodes of preschool at more than one service provider. This process could include either the state/territory data file, or the CCMS data file, and is used to identify duplicate episode records within file sources.
SLK linking across file sources:
This could include a child who attends preschool at one or more service providers who are captured in both the state/territory data file, and the CCMS data file. This process is used to identify duplicate episode records across file sources.
Once the linking process was completed, the episode records were then linked at the service provider level. A confirmed linking process was undertaken producing unique child records.
Figure 3.8 Creation of Unique Child Records from Episode Records