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Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA)
The Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) is a product of the National Centre for Social Applications of GIS (GISCA) now incorporated into the University of Adelaide's Australian Population and Migration Research Centre (APMRC).
ARIA measures remoteness based on the physical road distance between a settlement and five classes of service centre. The ABS uses ARIA scores in collaboration with the APMRC to create the Remoteness Structure. The Remoteness Structure is based on an extended version of the original ARIA methodology called ARIA+.
ARIA+ is widely used within the Australian community and has become recognised as a nationally consistent measure of geographic remoteness.
More information is available from the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre (APMRC) website: <http://www.adelaide.edu.au/apmrc>.
Remoteness Area (RA): The Remoteness Areas (RAs) divide Australia into broad geographic regions that share common characteristics of remoteness for statistical purposes. The Remoteness Structure divides each state and territory into several regions on the basis of their relative access to services. Individual states and territories may not contain areas of every class: for example the Northern Territory does not contain a Major City or an Inner Regional classification.
The classes of RA in the Remoteness Structure are:
RAs are based on the Accessibility and Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) produced by the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre at the University of Adelaide.
For more information please refer to the online publication: Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 5 - Remoteness Structure, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.005).
Administrative data are pieces of information recorded in administrative records, systems or reports, primarily collected for the purpose of record-keeping.
Aggregate level data collection
An Aggregate level data collection methodology contains data from statistical entities within the collection population that are grouped together and summed into broader categories.
For the National ECEC Collection, the Aggregate data collection methodology collects totals of children enrolled in and attending preschools programs at the service provider record level only. Data collected at this level does not contain child record level information.
Australian Standard of Geographical Classification (ASGC)
The ASGC was developed by the ABS for the collection and dissemination of geographic statistics. It is a hierarchically structured classification with a number of spatial units to satisfy different statistical purposes. The ASGC facilities the standardisation of terminology and comparability of data. This has been replaced by ASGS (see below).
Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)
The ASGS came into effect in July 2011 to replace the ASGC. The ASGS provides a common framework of statistical geography used by the ABS to enable the publication of statistics that are comparable and spatially integrated. Its purpose is to outline the conceptual basis of Mesh Blocks, the regions of the main structure and the Greater Capital City Statistical Areas and their relationships to each other. The digital boundaries, codes and labels for each of these regions can be obtained as downloads from the ABS website free of charge.
For the purposes of the National ECEC Collection, a child is considered to be attending a preschool program if the child was enrolled and present for at least one hour during the reference period. Children who did not attend a preschool program during the reference period (e.g. children who were absent due to illness or extended holiday leave) are not considered to have attended a preschool program.
Child care services provide care to children at a specific location, and can include long day care, family day care, outside school hours care, vacation care, in-home care and occasional care services. Child care services may or may not offer additional preschool programs within their services. Child care services may be provided through a combination of private organisation, community and some state and local government initiatives.
Child Care Management System (CCMS)
The CCMS is a national child care computer system that enables child care services to exchange child care information online with the government. It enables the payment of the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate fee reduction on behalf of parents to approved child care services. It also provides for the collection of information about the supply and usage of child care across Australia.
Child Care Benefit: a payment made to eligible parents or guardians, to assist with the cost of child care for long day care, family day care, outside school hours care, vacation care, in-home care and occasional care services. Eligibility is based on an income test.
Child Care Rebate: a payment available to eligible parents or guardians who are working, training or studying, to assist with the out-of-pocket expenses for approved child care services.
Child record level data
Child record level data contains data for each individual child in a data set. Data at the child record level includes personal characteristics and enrolment and attendance information for each child.
The recommended collection date is the common date to collect data. For the National ECEC Collection, the collection date is the first Friday in August. For 2013 this was Friday 2 August.
Council of Australian Governments (COAG)
COAG is the peak intergovernmental forum in Australia, comprising the Prime Minister, State Premiers, Territory Chief Ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association. The role of COAG is to initiate, develop and monitor the implementation of policy reforms that are of national significance and which require cooperative action by Australian governments.
A unit of data for which the definition, identification, representation and permissible values are specified by at least one or more data items. Data elements for the National ECEC Collection are detailed within the ECEC NMDS and the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Data Collection Guide (cat. no. 4240.0.55.002).
A particular characteristic of units in a population which is measured or observed. For the National ECEC Collection, data items have been adopted by the ABS where appropriate for conducting the collection and for processing activities.
The preparation of data for analysis. Data processing involves five steps: data coding, data input, data editing, data cleaning and data modification.
A method of confirming the reliability of data through a checking process, to ensure that the data is free of systematic error. A validation study compares data collected using a collection instrument with data considered to represent the "true value" of the data.
The type of setting in which early childhood education and care service activities are provided or could be provided by a service provider, as defined within the 2013 ECEC NMDS.
Centre-based (school): refers to child care services or preschool programs delivered on school grounds, using school facilities, e.g. a building owned by the school.
Centre-based (stand-alone): refers to child care services or preschool programs delivered in a non-residential building that was purpose-built or renovated (i.e. for the purpose of delivering early childhood education and care services), e.g. child care or early childhood centre, or preschool that is not part of a primary school.
Centre-based (other): refers to child care services or preschool programs delivered in a non-residential building that was purpose built or renovated (i.e. for the purpose of delivering early childhood education and care services) for which it cannot be determined whether they are co-located or stand-alone or where multiple types of early childhood education and care services are provided (e.g. preschool co-located with a long day care centre). This could include child care centres or other forms of integrated settings / services.
Home-based : refers to a private residential dwelling where an early childhood education and care service or preschool program is delivered by a child's parents, carers or guardians in their own home, family day care caregiver's house, or via a school of the air or distance education program.
General community setting: refers to a non-residential community infrastructure, facility or building that was not specifically built or developed for the provision of early childhood education and care services and is not part of a State, Independent or Catholic school, e.g. a park, community or scout hall, public library, etc. Includes locations where mobile services are delivered.
A key requirement of the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education (NP ECE) is that preschool programs should be available to everyone, regardless of their income or background. The NP ECE also recognises that disadvantaged families often face barriers to accessing government services for various reasons.
To measure the extent to which children from disadvantaged families are under- represented in preschool programs, the National ECEC Collection uses usual residence, in conjunction with the geographically based Index of Relative Social Disadvantage (IRSD), which is one of four indexes of the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA). See also ‘SEIFA’.
Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set (ECEC NMDS)
The ECEC NMDS is the document of agreed standards, definitions, classifications and protocols required for nationally comparable ECEC data. Entities within the ECEC NMDS are at the following levels:
Person/child: refers to the child enrolled in the preschool program.
Person (employed): refers to all persons or staff members who work within an ECEC service provider (both contact and non-contact staff), irrespective of whether they are employed (paid) or working voluntarily (unpaid).
Service provider organisation: refers to the ECEC establishment that delivers the preschool program.
An ECEC Worker is defined as a paid contact ECEC worker who delivered or assisted in delivering a preschool program in the collection reference period.
A child is considered to be enrolled if they were offered a place and has formally enrolled or registered in the preschool program and:
Episode of enrolment/attending a preschool program
An episode is the count of the occurrence of a specific characteristic. For the National ECEC Collection, an episode refers to a preschool program provided to a child. When one child attends two different preschool programs, the child is attending two episodes of preschool.
The ABS adopted 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' as the most precise and inclusive reference to use when referring to Australia's first peoples. 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status' replaces 'Indigenous status' except when referring to 2013 ECEC NMDS data elements and input data elements. (See Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status).
For the purpose of the National ECEC Collection, a jurisdiction is defined as the Australian Government or a state or territory government within Australia.
Licensed service providers
Licensed service providers are service providers that have been issued with a license by the relevant department or authority which grants legal approval or accreditation to operate their service or a particular component of their service, such as a preschool program or child care centre.
Preschool management type refers to the legal or social entity responsible for managing the delivery of an early childhood education and care service. Data presented from the National ECEC Collection are based on ECEC NMDS categories. Early childhood education and care services may be provided by a number of legal and social entities. The management type categories used in the National ECEC Collection include the following.
State and territory and local government managed: State and territory and local government managed services are services that are managed by the state, territory or local government. Excludes state and territory government schools.
State and territory government schools: State and territory government schools are schools that are funded and managed by the respective state or territory government.
Private not-for-profit - community managed: Community managed services include services that are managed by organisations based in the community through a membership made up of community members (e.g. the parents). The membership elects a management committee and the committee is accountable to the membership. No profit is distributed to the management committee or the members, any surplus funds are redirected to the service.
Private not for profit - other organisations: Other organisations include services that are managed by non-profit organisations such as charity organisations, consortium of charity organisations and church groups. Excludes Independent and Catholic schools.
Private for-profit: Private for-profit services include for-profit services provided or managed by a company or private individual.
Independent schools: Independent schools are non-government schools that are governed, managed and accountable at the level of the individual school and are not affiliated with the diocesan Catholic Education Office.
Catholic schools: Catholic schools are schools that are affiliated with the diocesan Catholic Education Office. Catholic schools, as with other classes of non-government schools, receive funding from the Australian Government.
Other: Other services include employer sponsored services.
Metadata Online Registry (METeOR)
METeOR is an online repository for national metadata standards for health, housing homelessness, early childhood education and care, and community services statistics and information. It is the resource which holds all ECEC NMDS data elements and associated metadata standards.
Performance indicators are measurement indicators used to assess the progress of the National Partnership on Early Childhood Education (NP ECE) and may be calculated using data from the National ECEC Collection. Performance Indicators relating to the NP ECE are further described in detail in Chapter 8: Collection Background and Governance.
A preschool program is a structured, play-based learning program, delivered by a degree qualified teacher, primarily aimed at children in the year or two before they commence full-time schooling. This is irrespective of the type of institution that provides it or whether it is government funded or privately provided. Programs may be delivered in a variety of service settings including separate preschools or kindergartens, long day care centres, in association with a school etc. Early childhood education terminology of a preschool program differs across states and territories, and these differences are outlined in Chapter 3: Concepts, Methods and Processes.
The period of time for which the data are collected and/or compiled (e.g. calendar year, financial year, last week, last fortnight or a specific day of the month etc.). The reference period may vary for each data element within a collection. For example, fees and hours data could be collected over a 2 week period; however these data would then be derived back to a representative week. For the 2013 National ECEC Collection the reference period was 29 July to 2 August 2013.
Scope and coverage
The scope is the set of units about which information is required. The coverage is the actual set of units about which information can be obtained or inferred.
Service activity type
The service activity type is the main type of service available or provided by an early childhood education and care service provider. Definitions of service activity types include the following.
Long day care: Long day care is a centre-based form of child care service providing all-day or part-time care for children of working families and the general community (services may cater to specific groups within the general community). For-profit and not-for-profit organisations, local councils, community organisations and employers may run these services. Long day cares primarily provide long day care services for children aged 0–5 years. Some long day care may also provide preschool and kindergarten programs and care for school children before and after school and during school holidays, where state and territory government regulations allow this. The service may operate from stand-alone or shared premises, including those on school grounds.
Occasional care: Occasional care comprises of services usually provided at a centre on an hourly or sessional basis for short periods or at irregular intervals for parents who need time to, for example, attend appointments, take care of personal matters, undertake casual and part time employment, study or have temporary respite from full-time parenting. These services provide developmental activities for children and are aimed primarily at 0–5 year olds. Centres providing these services usually employ a mix of qualified and other staff.
Outside school hours care: Outside school hours care comprises services that provide care for school aged children (5–12 year olds) before school, after school, during school holidays, and on pupil free days. Outside school hours care may use stand-alone facilities, share school buildings and grounds and/or share facilities such as community halls.
Vacation care: Vacation care comprises services provided for school aged children (5–12 year olds) during school holidays only.
Family day care: Family day care comprises services providing small group care for children in the home environment of a registered carer. Care is primarily aimed at 0–5 year olds, but primary school children may also receive care before and after school, and during school holidays. Educators work in partnership with scheme management and coordination unit staff.
In-home care: In-home care comprises services where an approved carer provides care in the child’s home. Families eligible for in-home care include families where the parent/s or child has an illness or disability; families in rural or remote areas; parents working shift work or non-standard hours; families with more than two children from a multiple birth and/or more than two children under school age; and families where a breast feeding mother is working from home.
Preschool: Preschool comprises services providing a structured, play based learning program, delivered by a degree qualified teacher primarily aimed at children in the year or two before they commence full-time schooling. This can be either in a stand-alone service or a service that is part of a school.
Service provider record level data
Service provider record level data contains data for each individual service provider delivering a preschool program within a data set. Data at the service provider record level includes location information, management type, activity type and service delivering setting, as well as information on preschool programs delivered by each service provider in the data set.
Socio-economic indexes for areas (SEIFA)
The SEIFA is a product developed especially for those interested in the assessment of the welfare of Australian communities. SEIFA is a suite of four summary measures that have been created from 2011 Census information. The indexes can be used to explore different aspects of socio-economic conditions by geographic areas. For each index, geographic areas in Australia are given a SEIFA number which shows how disadvantaged that area is compared with other areas in Australia. The indexes provide more general measures of socio-economic status than is given by measuring, for example, income or unemployment alone. The SEIFA index used for the National ECEC Collection is the Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD).
Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage: The IRSD summarises a range of information about the economic and social resources of people and households within an area. Unlike other indexes, this index includes only measures of relative disadvantage. Variables that comprise this index include; low income, no qualifications, unemployment, overcrowded housing, disability, no car, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status.
Standing Council for School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC)
The Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood comprises state, territory, Australian Government and New Zealand Ministers with responsibility for the portfolios of school education, early childhood development and youth affairs. With the new COAG Council System, the Standing Council replaces MCEECDYA.
Unit Record Level (URL) data collection
A URL data collection methodology contains confidentialised data for individual statistical entities in a collection population.
For the purposes of the National ECEC Collection, a URL data collection methodology collects child enrolment and attendance level data corresponding to service provider record level data for each child in the data set. A URL data collection methodology also includes worker record level data corresponding to service provider record level data for each worker in the data set.
The place where the person has or intends to live for six months or more, or the place the person regards as their main residence, or where the person has no other residence, the place they currently reside.
The work activity type refers to the main type of work performed by a person in the course of their employment in early childhood education and care.
Primary contact: An activity type of primary contact refers to a worker that mainly has direct contact with children. This may include but is not limited to teachers, teacher's assistants/ aides, specialist teachers and therapists.
Other contact: An activity type of other contact refers to a worker that has some duties involving direct contact with children, but deals mainly with staffing or management issues such as supervising staff and handling queries from parents or designing the education program. This may include but is not limited to principals, deputy principals, centre managers and coordinators.
Management / administration: An activity type of management/administration refers to a worker who mainly performed management or administration work that contributed to the running of the early childhood education and care service and had no direct contact with children. Work may include clerical or receptionist duties, filing, keeping financial records, staffing and management issues.
Other work: An activity type of other work refers to a worker who provides support services such as cooking, cleaning and gardening. This may include drivers, cooks, cleaners and maintenance staff.
All paid contact employees who were working at an in-scope service provider during the reference period and who delivered a preschool program during the reference period.
Year before full-time schooling (YBFS)
The year before full-time schooling (also referred to as the 'year before formal schooling') is a term used to describe the 'preschool' cohort, due to the varying delivery models of early childhood education in the different jurisdictions (McEwin and Ryan, 2009). The year before a child begins full-time schooling is further defined as Year 1 (or Grade 1) minus 2 years. Refer to Chapter 3: Concepts, Methods and Processes for the operational methodology of YBFS.
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