4105.0 - Children and Youth News, Nov 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2008   
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The second annual review of the Children and Youth Information Development Plan (IDP) is currently being finalised. The IDP outlines agreed priorities for statistical data development with the aim of improving the quality and availability of data required to support informed policy design and evaluation, and decision making by governments, organisations and communities. The original IDP, Information Paper: Improving Statistics on Children and Youth - An Information Development Plan (cat. no. 4907.0) was released in December 2006. The first review was completed in December 2007 with results published on the National Statistical Service (NSS) web site.

In recent months, the ABS has been contacting relevant agencies to obtain updates and progress relating to the Data Development Actions as well as input into the continued relevance of the agreed priority areas in the Plan. This information is being collated and the results will be released in December 2008 on the National Statistical Service (NSS) website. If you would like to know more about the review please contact: children.youth@abs.gov.au


The Children and Youth Statistical Portal, which was the pilot project for the National Data Network (NDN) was released 8 October 2007. The NDN has recently undergone a review process. Most of the development to date has been done in demonstration/pilot mode, with valuable lessons learned on the nature of arrangements and infrastructure and the processes for progressing the objectives of accessing and sharing statistical information for important information priorities.

As a result of the reviews, the ABS has decided to bring the pilot phase to a close and cease further development on the technical infrastructure of the network. This includes the Children and Youth Statistical Portal. The vision of accessing and sharing data will continue with an expansion of the National Statistical Service (NSS).

The NSS supports a whole of government approach to the management of statistical information. Its aim is to increase the range of good quality statistical information available for decision making, and forge statistical partnerships to share knowledge and expertise. This link National Statistical Service will take you to the NSS website.


To meet the data needs for early years learning specifically, a new Childhood Education and Care Survey was conducted as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey in
June 2008, to examine participation in early childhood education in both preschools and child care settings. The survey will also allow assessment of demand for preschool
programs and will provide information on communication of learning outcomes to parents. This survey will provide a timely picture of early childhood education, to inform debates in this area. It is planned to continue the survey every three years, as an integrated child care and education survey. Results from the 2008 survey are due to be released in April 2009.


The four yearly Survey of Education and Training will next be conducted in 2009. It has been redeveloped to take into account a number of recent information demands. In particular, a new module is being added about individuals’ education and work history, to provide a more useful analysis of the direct links between educational participation and attainment and outcomes in terms of labour force participation and occupation. Collection of information about formal, non-formal and informal learning activities will enable international comparisons with other mainly European countries that have also implemented the OECD Continuing Education and Training module.