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A child is not considered to be enrolled if they were absent during the reference period and not expected to return to the preschool program.
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.
Estimated Residential Population (ERP)
The ERP is the official measure of the population of Australia and is based on the concept of usual residence. It refers to all people, regardless of nationality, citizenship or legal status, who usually live in Australia, with the exception of foreign diplomatic personnel and their families. It includes usual residents who are overseas for less than 12 months. It excludes overseas visitors who are in Australia for less than 12 months. Estimates of the Australian resident population are generated on a quarterly basis by adding natural increase (the excess of births over deaths) and Net Overseas Migration (NOM) occurring during the period to the population at the beginning of each period. Note that population figures included in this publication are indicative only and are based on the 2006 Census. For more information, see the Explanatory Notes section of this publication and https://www.abs.gov.au/geography
For the purpose of the National ECEC Collection, fees refer to the actual tuition fees charged for the child to attend a preschool program after subsidies have been deducted. Preschool fees are collected differently for Unit Record Level (URL) data and Aggregate level data. For URL data, fee information is collected at the child level. As this is not possible for Aggregate collections, fee per child information is based on a service's schedule of fixed fees, for example a charge of $150 per full term. The fee schedule can differ between programs, organisations and jurisdictions. Fees may be charged daily, weekly, annually, per session or per term. If data are collected or provided at any level other than weekly, the weekly fee is derived from the provided fee and fee schedule. For more information, see the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Data Collection Guide (cat. no 4240.0.55.002) under Chapter 2, Data element collection instructions.
Information on hours is collected differently for URL data and Aggregate level data. For URL data, hours information is collected at the child level, in whole numbers. As this is not possible for Aggregate collections, hours data are collected at the service provider level, and hours per child is derived, and then rounded to the nearest whole number. For more information, see the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Data Collection Guide (cat. no 4240.0.55.002) under Chapter 2, Data element collection instructions.
For the purposes of the National ECEC Collection a child is enumerated as Indigenous if he or she is identified by a parent/guardian as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin upon enrolment. The National ECEC Collection uses the ABS standard Indigenous categories, which are as follows:
2 - Torres Strait Islander but not Aboriginal origin
3 - Both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin
4 - Neither Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin
9 - Not stated/inadequately described
For the purpose of the National ECEC Collection, a jurisdiction is defined as the Australian Government or a state or territory government within Australia.
Preschool management type refers to the legal or social entity responsible for managing the 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 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 - 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 Department of Education.
Catholic schools: Catholic schools are schools that are affiliated with the diocesan Catholic Department of Education. Catholic schools, as with other classes of non-government schools, receive funding from the Australian Government.
Other: Other services include employer sponsored services.
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 the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001) under Chapter 8, Collection Background and Governance.
A preschool program is a structured, play-based learning program, delivered by a degree qualified teacher, aimed at children in the year 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, LDC centres, in association with a school. Early childhood education terminology of a preschool program differs across states and territories, and these differences are outlined in the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001) under Chapter 3, Concepts and Definitions.
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 2012 National ECEC Collection the reference period was 30 July to 3 August 2012.
Remoteness Area (RA)
RA is a geographic classification system that was developed in 2001 by the ABS, as a statistical geography structure.
The purpose of the RA structure is to classify data from a statistical geography structure into broad geographical categories. The RA categories are defined in terms of ‘remoteness’ - the physical distance of a location from the nearest Urban Centre (providing access to goods and services) based on population size.
For the 2012 National ECEC Collection RA data have been output based on Census Collection Districts (CDs) which is a statistical geography structure from the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC).
Until final rebased single year of age ERP data based on the 2011 Census are available, it is advised that output Preschool Education, Australia, 2012 data relating to remoteness and disadvantage be used in conjunction with 2006 census based ERP data for reporting and to ensure comparability. Once final rebased single year of age ERP data based on the 2011 Census are available (in mid to late 2013), Preschool Education, Australia, 2012 data relating to remoteness and disadvantage will be made available based on the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). This will support comparable data based on the 2011 Census.
For more information see the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001) under Chapter 4, Data output and processing and https://www.abs.gov.au/geography.
Service activity type
The service activity type is the 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 (LDC): LDC 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. LDC's primarily provide LDC services for children aged 0-5 years. Some LDC 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.
Preschool program: stand-alone: Preschool program (stand-alone) comprises separately located services dedicated to provide structured educational programs to children in the year before they commence full-time schooling only.
Preschool program: as part of a school: Preschool program (as part of school) comprises services that are co-located with a school that provides structured educational programs to children in the year before they commence full-time schooling. These services may also be integrated with 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 delivery setting, as well as information on preschool programs delivered by each service provider in the data set.
Socio-economic indexes for areas (SEIFA) and Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD)
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 2006 Census information. The indexes can be used to explore different aspects of socio-economic conditions by geographic areas. For each index, every geographic area in Australia is 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 (IRSD): 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 Indigenous status.
Standing Council for School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC)
The Standing Council for School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC) 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, this Standing Council replaces the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs.
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 Australian Government’s commitment to ensuring that every child has access to a quality early childhood program is referred to as the Universal Access commitment. The program is to be delivered by a four-year university-trained early childhood teacher, for 15 hours a week, 40 weeks a year, in the year before full-time schooling. The commitment is to be fully implemented by mid-2013.
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.
All paid employees who were working at an in-scope service provider during the reference period are in-scope of the collection. This includes both contact and non-contact workers, irrespective of whether the worker delivered a preschool program during the reference week.
Episodes of worker: An episode is the count of the occurrence of a specific characteristic. For the National ECEC Collection, an episode of worker refers to a degree qualified, paid, contact worker delivering a preschool program during the reference period.
Work activity: The work activity type refers to the type of work performed by a person in the course of their employment in early childhood education and care.
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.
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.
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