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   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All  



In 2012, Victoria (Vic.) was responsible for two Unit Record Level (URL) data collections that were used to supply data for the 2012 National ECEC Collection. These collections were:

  • the Confirmed Kindergarten Funding Data Collection conducted in April (the ‘April Data Collection’)
  • the August Census Collection.

There is also the November Future Funding Collection, however this is not used for the National ECEC Collection.

Confirmed Kindergarten Funding Data Collection & the August Census Collection

Institutional Environment
The organisation responsible for both data collections was the Vic. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD). Data were collected in accordance with Funding and Service Agreement requirements.

Data from the 2012 collections enabled reporting across the Victorian ECEC sector for a variety of reporting requirements. The information collected through the April collection was used by Vic. DEECD to make decisions about the level of funding each organisation was eligible to receive for each preschool child enrolment (per capita funding) and the number of children eligible to receive the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy. The August Census Collection was conducted primarily to support national reporting requirements.

Scope: The scope of both collections included all children aged 3 to 6 years of age who were officially enrolled during the reference period in Vic. DEECD funded preschool programs for children in the year prior to school delivered by service providers with a current Vic. DEECD Service Agreement.

The scope for data provided on workers included all paid primary contact teachers and teaching assistants who were employed in Vic. DEECD funded preschool programs delivered by service providers with a current Vic. DEECD Service Agreement.

Coverage: Services with a current Funding and Service Agreement were licensed and funded by Vic. DEECD, therefore participation in the collections was a mandatory requirement for these providers. Full coverage of preschool programs delivered through these service providers was achieved. A small number of Long Day Care (LDC) centres operating a preschool program were not funded by Vic. DEECD and as a result, no data were collected from these services by Vic. DEECD.

Data collection methods:
The 2012 April Data Collection collected data using a URL data collection methodology for the following statistical entities:
  • Child: data for children were provided from the August Data Collection only
  • Service provider organisation: data for service providers were provided from the August Data Collection only
  • Worker: data at the worker record level.

The 2012 August Data Collection collected data using a URL data collection methodology for the following statistical entities:
  • Child: data at the child record level
  • Service provider organisation: data at the service provider record level
  • Worker: data at the worker level were provided in the April collection, and updated for the August Data Collection.

Data collected in the April collection is prepopulated into the August Census Collection tool and services update and add to the information to reflect the reference week.

The April Data Collection is an annual collection and in 2012 was conducted 2 April to 4 May 2012. The August Census Collection reference period was 30 July to 3 August. The collection was conducted from 30 July to 31 August.

In Victoria, it is a condition of preschool funding that organisations provide accurate information to Vic. DEECD by the due date of the data collections. The timeliness and accuracy of data provided by each organisation in April is reviewed annually as part of a service agreement. If an organisation fails to provide accurate information or to submit on-line forms by the required date, Vic. DEECD may decide to delay or cease payments of funding.

Completion of the data processing and validation stages for the August Census Collection took approximately 2 to 3 months after the collection date, at which time data were delivered to the ABS.

Data sourced from the collections for the purposes of the National ECEC Collection are published by the ABS in Preschool Education, Australia, 2012 (cat. no 4240.0).

Organisations with a current Vic. DEECD Service Agreement, who continue to meet the eligibility requirements for funding, were required to submit data to their regional office via an on-line survey. There are two data collections each year and organisations are required to provide data for both collections.

In the April Data Collection, service providers were required to confirm the number of enrolled children eligible for per capita funding, and the number eligible for the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy. Information on service provider characteristics and worker details was also required to be confirmed. These data were confirmed using data supplied in the November Future Funding Collection. For the 2012 August Census Collection, service providers in receipt of per capita funding were required to provide enrolment, attendance and fees paid data for each child enrolled at the service and workforce data

Teacher qualification data was primarily collected during the April Data Collection and then updated during the August Census Collection.

Victoria carried out data validation in response to missing fields of data as well as cross checking data for accuracy. With on-line data collection, fields were entered via drop-down boxes containing only valid options where possible. Intermediate totals were system calculated rather than manually entered. Vic. DEECD staff performed verification checks on every preschool service submission, ensuring that no blanks occurred in data records and comparing enrolments across years.

For the purposes of the National ECEC Collection, data collected through the 2012 August Census Collection were able to be compared with data collected in 2011, as both collections were undertaken using a consistent URL data collection methodology.

Specific data elements which were collected using methods which did not align with the ECEC National Minimum Data Set (ECEC NMDS) specifications are outlined below and should be taken into account when analysing the data collected. An analysis of the coherence of this collection with other jurisdictional collections should be undertaken on an individual basis, taking into account any data elements that are not consistent with the ECEC NMDS specifications. Deviations between the 2012 ECEC NMDS and data collected from the 2012 August Census Collection, are outlined in table 6.3.


Data ElementDetails of Deviation

Fees charged (Child)Fee data collected from LDCs relates to the total LDC enrolment rather than the actual preschool fee and preschool hours.

Preschool program enrolment hours (Child)Data were not available for LDCs. Attendance hours were used as a proxy measure for enrolment hours for these services.

Management type (Service provider)The legal entity status of the funded organisation reported by each service provider (excluding Independent schools) was used as a proxy measure for management type. This may not have produced consistent classifications of management type for all service providers. Independent schools were categorised using the ‘funding status’ flag in the Vic. DEECD funding system and assigned a management type of Code 6: Independent school, regardless of the legal entity status of the funded organisation.

MeshblockMeshblock was not provided for Child or Service provider level. However CD and SA1 were provided for 2012.

Counts of Children:
It is possible for a child to be concurrently enrolled in and attending two or more preschool programs and attend preschool across years. In order to address collection requirements, it is important to be able to identify matched episode records for a child, both within a collection cycle and between years accurately.

Children in a Preschool Program in 2012:
      For Vic., counts of children enrolled in and attending preschool programs in 2012 were able to be derived as data were collected using a URL data collection methodology.

Children in a Preschool Program in the Year before Full-time Schooling:
      Whilst Victoria had two years of comparable data collections using URL methodology, counts of children enrolled in and attending preschool programs in the year before full-time schooling (YBFS) were not able to be accurately derived as Vic. did not have a child/client database. Children in a preschool program in the YBFS were reported as a proxy.

Extensive explanatory information was provided in the on-line collection instrument. Information such as a ‘frequently asked questions’ fact sheet on the data collection process was available from Vic. DEECD. If service providers required clarification about the collection, they were also able to contact a Children’s Service Adviser in their regional office.

The Vic. DEECD provides information on funding criteria and data collection responsibilities in the publication ‘Victorian kindergarten policy, procedures and funding criteria 2010–12’, which is available on the Vic. DEECD website at: http://www.eduweb.vic.gov.au/edulibrary/public/earlychildhood/childrensservices/kindergartenpolicycriteria.pdf

Data sourced from the Vic. DEECD Collection for the 2012 National ECEC Collection are published at the state and territory level in Preschool Education, Australia, 2012 (cat. no 4240.0) on the ABS website.

Information Source
The information contained in this report has been sourced from Vic. DEECD in consultation with the ABS. Further information is available at the Vic. DEECD website http://www.education.vic.gov.au/

Previous PageNext Page