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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.
Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA)
The 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/>
The classes of RA in the Remoteness Structure are:
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 Collection, the aggregate data collection methodology collects totals of children enrolled in and attending preschool programs at the service provider record level only. Data collected at this level does not contain child record level information.
For the purposes of the 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.
Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)
The ASGS came into effect in July 2011 to replace the Australian Statistical of Geographical Classification (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. This standard replaces the ASGC. <https://www.abs.gov.au/geography>
Child Care Management System (CCMS)
The CCMS is a national child care computer system that enables child care services to provide child care information online to 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 services provide care to children at a specific location, and can include long day care (LDC), 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 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. For children with more than one episode of enrolment at preschool programs their child record is a composite of all enrolments that can be attributed to that child.
The recommended collection date is the common date to collect data. For the Collection, the Collection date is the first Friday in August. For 2013, the collection date 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.
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 early childhood education and care (ECEC) data. The Metadata Online Registry (METeOR) is an online repository for national metadata standards for health, housing, homelessness, ECEC, and community services statistics and information. This is the resource which holds all ECEC NMDS data elements and associated metadata standards.
For more information, see the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2013 (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001) under Chapter 8, Collection Background and Governance, and the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Data Collection Guide, 2013 (cat. no 4240.0.55.002).
A child is considered to be enrolled if they were offered a place and has formally enrolled or registered in the preschool program and:
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 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 by state and territory, are generated on a quarterly basis by adding natural increase (the excess of births over deaths), Net Interstate Migration (NIM), 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 preliminary and based on the 2011 Census. For more information, see the Explanatory Notes section of this publication and <https://www.abs.gov.au/geography>
For the purpose of the 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, 2013 (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, 2013 (cat. no. 4240.0.55.002) under Chapter 2, Data Element Collection Instructions.
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 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 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 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.
Performance indicators are measurement indicators used to assess the progress of the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education (NP ECE) and may be calculated using data from the 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, 2013 (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001) under Chapter 8, Collection Background and Governance.
Perturbation is a process whereby some values of particular variables are slightly varied to protect the confidentiality of the record.
A preschool program is a structured, play-based learning program, delivered by a degree qualified teacher, 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 and/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 etc. 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, 2013 (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001) under 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 Collection, the reference period was 29 July to 2 August 2013.
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.
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.
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, 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 Collection is the Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD).
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 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-qualified early childhood teacher, for 15 hours a week, 40 weeks a year, in the year or two before full-time schooling. In 2013, COAG endorsed the new National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education (NP UAECE). The NP UAECE aims to maintain universal access to quality early childhood education programs to the end of 2014, with a focus on improved participation by vulnerable and disadvantaged children. This new National Partnership extends until 31 December 2014.
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 ECEC.
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 ECEC 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 YBFS (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. Operationally for the 2013 Collection, children were only included in the YBFS cohort if the child was 4 or 5 years old. To be included as a 5 year old, the child must not have previously attended a preschool program as a four year old. Five year old children who attended a preschool program as a 4 year old were excluded from the YBFS population.
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