4240.0 - Preschool Education, Australia, 2018 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/02/2019   
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Children are included in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counts if they are identified by a parent or guardian as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Annualised hours enrolled/attending

An estimate of the number of preschool program hours a child may have been enrolled/attending during the calendar year. It is calculated as a child's hours enrolled/attending in the reference week, multiplied by the number of weeks their service provider(s) operated in the calendar year.


For the purposes of this publication, 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.


A child is considered to be enrolled if they were offered a place, formally enrolled or registered in the preschool program and:

  • attended the preschool program for at least one hour during the reference period, or
  • were absent during the reference period due to illness or extended holiday leave, but were expected to return.

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.


An episode is the count of the occurrence of a specific characteristic. For example, a preschool 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 resident population (ERP)

Estimated Resident Population 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, and Net Overseas Migration 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 2016 Census. For more information, see the Explanatory Notes section of this publication, Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0) and Regional Population by Age and Sex, Australia (cat. no. 3235.0).


Fees refer to the actual tuition fees charged for the child to attend a preschool program after subsidies have been deducted.

Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD)

The Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage (IRSD) used in this release was developed by the ABS and ranks areas in Australia according to most disadvantaged to least disadvantaged using variables from the 2016 Census of Population and Housing. A low score on this index indicates a high proportion of relatively disadvantaged people in an area. It cannot be concluded that an area with a very high score has a large proportion of relatively advantaged people, as there are no variables in the index to indicate this.

Indigenous status

See Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Management type

Preschool management type refers to the legal or social entity responsible for managing the delivery of a preschool program. The management type categories include the following:

Government managed
  • State and territory and local government managed: Services that are managed by the state, territory or local government. Excludes state and territory government schools.
  • State and territory government schools: Schools that are funded and managed by the respective state or territory government.
    Non-government managed
    • Private not-for-profit - community managed: 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, and any surplus funds are redirected to the service.
    • Private not-for-profit - other organisations: 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: Services provided or managed by a company or private individual.
    • Independent schools: 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: Schools that are affiliated with the diocesan Catholic Education Office.
    • Other: Other services include employer sponsored services.

    Preschool program

    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. Preschool programs are often referred to by other terms such as early childhood education, early learning or kindergarten.

    Qualified teacher

    A degree qualified early childhood teacher who meets the requirements of the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (the National Quality Framework). The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) publishes a list of approved and former approved early childhood teaching qualifications.

    Remoteness area (RA)

    Remoteness areas divide Australia into broad geographic regions on the basis of their relative access to services. They are based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) which measures the remoteness of a point based on the physical road distance to the nearest Urban Centre.


    Sector is a classification derived from the Service activity type and Management type characteristics of service providers.

    Service activity type

    The service activity type is the main type of service available from or provided by a service provider. Service activity types include:
    • Centre based day care (CBDC): A centre based day care (known as Long day care prior to 2 July 2018) 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. CBDC primarily provides services for children aged 0-5 years. Some centre based day care may also provide early childhood education 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.
    • Early childhood education program: Comprises services providing a structured, play-based learning program, aimed at children in the year or two before they commence full-time schooling. The terms most commonly used to describe early education programs which are subject to the National Partnerships Universal Access to Early Childhood Education (NP UAECE) in states and territories are:
        • Kindergarten – Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania
        • Kindergarten or Preschool – Victoria, South Australia
        • Preschool – New South Wales, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory

    Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA)

    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 2016 Census information. The indexes can be used to explore different aspects of socio-economic conditions by geographic areas. The SEIFA index used in this publication is the Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD).

    State-specific year before full-time schooling (YBFS)

    The state-specific year before full-time schooling (YBFS) population is made up of an age range of children specific to each state based on that state’s preschool and school starting age provisions.

    Unit record level data collection

    Unit record level data collections contain data for each individual statistical entity in a collection population.