DATA QUALITY STATEMENT
In 2013, Victoria (Vic.) implemented the Kindergarten Information Management System (KIM) which is the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s (DEECD) new online web-based system for kindergarten funding applications, data collection, and reporting.
KIM enables services to provide key information in a user-friendly environment and allows real-time collection of data. Using information collected through previous reporting cycles, the system is able to pre-populate data and funding allocations for each service, and therefore only requires services to update information as circumstances change.
In 2013, Vic. performed a KIM extraction of service, enrolment, and workforce data and conducted a Unit Record Level (URL) collection of attendance pattern data for the 2013 Collection. This extraction is hereafter defined as the August Census Data Collection.
In 2013, Victoria implemented the delivery of 15 hours of kindergarten in accordance with the National Partnership on Early Childhood Education.
The August Census Collection
The organisation responsible for the August Census Data Collection was the Vic. DEECD. Data were collected in accordance with Funding and Service Agreement requirements.
Data from the 2013 August Census Data Collection enabled state and national reporting across the Victorian Early Childhood Education and Care sector.
Scope: The scope of the August Census Data Collection 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.
The only 3 year-old data included in the data submission are the children who are aged 3 years when they are attending the kindergarten program in the year before school.
Vic. also collects data on children who are eligible for the Early Start Kindergarten Program. This is a State targeted funding initiative which is offered to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and children known to child protection who attend a kindergarten program 2 years prior to school. This data, however, is not within the scope of the Collection.
Coverage: Services with a current Funding and Service Agreement are funded by Vic. DEECD. Therefore participation in the collection was mandatory 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 2013 August Census 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
The August Census Data Collection reference period was 29 July to 3 August. The collection is usually commences the day after the reference period and is conducted for approximately 4 weeks. Due to the implementation of a new system, the collection in 2013 was conducted from 29 August to 20 September. In the future, the collection will occur immediately after the reference period.
In Victoria, it is a condition of preschool funding that organisations provide accurate information to Vic. DEECD by the due date of the data collection. 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 Data Collection was conducted after the collection date.
Data sourced from the collections for the purposes of the Collection are published by the ABS in Preschool Education, Australia, 2013
(cat. no. 4240.0).
Organisations with a current Vic. DEECD Service Agreement, who continue to meet the eligibility requirements for funding, were required to complete data entry in KIM.
For the 2013 August Census Data Collection, service providers in receipt of funding were required to provide enrolment, attendance and fees paid data for each child enrolled at the service and workforce data.
Victoria carried out data validation in response to missing fields of data as well as cross checking data for accuracy. With data collected through KIM, fields were entered via drop-down boxes containing only valid options where possible. Intermediate totals were system calculated rather than manually entered. KIM has verification checks on every preschool service submission, ensuring that no blanks occurred in data records and comparing enrolments across years. In the future, KIM will be able to compare enrolments across years.
Whilst the mechanism of collecting data in 2013 has changed, a consistent URL collection has been in place since 2011.
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 2013 ECEC NMDS and data collected from the 2013 August Census Collection are outlined in Table 6.3.
6.3 DEVIATION OF COLLECTION FROM THE 2013 ECEC NMDS
Counts of Children:
|Data Element||Details 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. As Vic. collects data on total kindergarten hours in LDC, Vic. were able to derive an approximate fee for hours in the preschool program.|
|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.|
|Meshblock||Meshblock was not provided for Child or Service provider level. However CD and SA1 were provided for 2013.|
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 2013:
For Vic., counts of children enrolled in and attending preschool programs in 2013 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 KIM and on the Vic. DEECD website. Information such as ‘frequently asked questions’ fact sheets on the data collection process was available on KIM and the Vic. DEECD website. If service providers required clarification about the collection, they were also able to contact their regional office.
The Vic. DEECD provides information on funding criteria and data collection responsibilities in the publication ‘The Kindergarten Guide 2013’, which is available on the Vic. DEECD website at:
Data sourced from the Vic. DEECD Collection for the 2013 Collection are published at the state and territory level in Preschool Education, Australia, 2013
(cat. no. 4240.0) on the ABS website.
The information contained within this report has been sourced from Vic. DEECD in consultation with the ABS. Back to top