4240.0 - Preschool Education, Australia, 2018 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/03/2019   
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CHILDREN


Preschool enrolments

In 2018, there were 342,479 children aged 4 or 5 years old enrolled in a preschool program in Australia. Of these, 274,582 (80%) were aged 4 years, and 67,896 (20%) were aged 5 years. It is estimated there were 318,319 children aged 4 years resident in Australia as at June 2018 and 323,859 aged 5 years. This indicates 86% of children aged 4 and 21% of children aged 5 were enrolled in preschool programs.

Of the total number of enrolled children aged 4 or 5 years, 42% were enrolled in a preschool, 50% were enrolled in a preschool program within a Centre based day care (CBDC) centre, and 8% were enrolled in programs across more than one provider type.

Of the 142,357 children enrolled in a preschool program at a preschool, 39% were in Government preschools and 59% were in Non-government preschools. A small proportion of children were enrolled at more than one preschool.

The shares of children enrolled at preschool or CBDCs varied across the states and territories. In Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria there were more children enrolled at CBDCs than at preschools (68%, 65% and 47% respectively). Western Australia had the highest proportion of children enrolled at preschools (78%). The distribution presented below reflects the different delivery models in each state and territory.

Graph 1 - Distribution of children enrolled, by sector, 2018

Graph 1 - Distribution of children enrolled, by sector, 2018

ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER CHILDREN

In 2018, there were 18,253 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled in preschool school programs. Of these children 57% were enrolled in a preschool and 35% were enrolled in a preschool program within a CBDC centre and 8% were enrolled in programs across more than one provider type. Compared with all Australian children, a similar proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 4 (85%) and aged 5 (19%) were enrolled in preschool programs.

The split of enrolments between preschools and CBDCs varied across jurisdictions. The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled in preschools was highest in the Northern Territory (86%), followed by Western Australia (85%) and South Australia (72%). Queensland had the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in CBDCs (55%).

Most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were enrolled at service providers in Inner and Outer Regional Australia (47%) or Major Cities (38%). Fifteen per cent of enrolled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were in Remote and Very Remote areas compared with enrolments of all children (2.0%). The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled in a preschool program in Remote and Very Remote areas was highest in the Northern Territory, followed by Western Australia and Queensland.

Graph 2 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled, by remoteness area, 2018

Graph 2 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled, by remoteness area, 2018

ENROLLED 15 HOURS OR MORE

The majority of children (95%) enrolled in a preschool program were enrolled for 15 hours or more per week.

Of those enrolled 15 hours or more, 43% were enrolled in a preschool and 48% were enrolled in a CBDC with the remaining 9% enrolled in both service types. For all jurisdictions the majority of children enrolled 15 hours or more were enrolled in preschools except New South Wales and Queensland where the majority are enrolled in CBDCs which is reflective of their service delivery model.

Graph 3 - Distribution of children enrolled 15 hours or more per week, 2018

Graph 3 - Distribution of children enrolled 15 hours or more per week, 2018

SERVICE PROVIDERS

In 2018, there were 11,695 service providers delivering a preschool program in Australia. Of these 36% were a Preschool (either stand-alone or as part of a school) and 64% were CBDCs.

Service delivery models differ among the states and territories. New South Wales and Queensland have a predominant CBDC delivery model (accounting for 79% and 72% of preschool program providers respectively), whereas preschools made up the highest proportion of providers in Tasmania (62%), the Northern Territory and Western Australia (both 60%).