QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY
Preschool Education, Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 4240.0) is compiled from data from the National Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Collection. The National ECEC Collection is derived from administrative data provided by state and territory and Commonwealth government departments with responsibility for early childhood education and care. A comprehensive quality declaration for each jurisdiction can be found in the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2012 (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001).
For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.
In 2008, the importance of education in the early years of a child's development was formally acknowledged through the Council of Australian Governments' endorsement of a new National Partnership on Early Childhood Education (NP ECE). The National ECEC Collection was conducted for the third time in 2012 as part of data improvement projects under the NP ECE and the National Information Agreement on Early Childhood Education and Care (NIA ECEC). The aim of the National ECEC Collection is to provide comparable state and territory statistics on early childhood education. Preschool Education, Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 4240.0) presents counts of children enrolled and attending preschool programs and episodes of enrolment and attendance at preschool programs across Australia.
The National ECEC Collection aims to compile child, teacher and service provider statistics from all service providers delivering an in-scope preschool program within Australia. The following statistical entities are in-scope for the collection population:
A service provider is considered to be in-scope if it was providing a structured, play based learning program, delivered by a degree qualified teacher, aimed at children in the year before full-time schooling (a preschool program) during the reference period.
All children who were between 3 and 6 years of age (inclusive) at 1 July are within scope of the collection if they were enrolled during the reference period at a preschool program. To be considered as enrolled, the child must have attended the preschool program for at least one hour during the reference period, or be absent due to illness or extended holiday leave and expected to return.
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, and is irrespective of whether the worker delivered a preschool program during the reference week.
The National ECEC Collection was conducted for the third time in 2012 and will continue to be conducted annually. The collection date for the National ECEC Collection is the first Friday in August of each year. In 2012, the collection date for all jurisdictions was Friday, 3 August 2012, with a reference period of 30 July 2012 – 3 August 2011. Some jurisdictions preferred to incorporate a reference period of two weeks that included the collection date, to better reflect their preschool program delivery model.
The first Friday in August will be the collection date for future collections, with jurisdictions determining their reference periods ensuring that they include the collection date. A summary of jurisdictional collection reference periods for 2011 can be found within the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2012 (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001).
Data for the National ECEC Collection have been compiled according to the National standards outlined in the Early Childhood Education and Care National Minimum Data Set (ECEC NMDS) in order to maximise consistency of data across the various jurisdictional collections. Alignment with these standards has not been completely achieved by all jurisdictions for 2012, and care should be taken when comparison across jurisdictions are made. In addition, some jurisdictions were not able to provide the ABS with certain data elements as specified in the ECEC NMDS.
Data limitations for the 2012 collection include:
- A small level of under-coverage of the preschool programs in some sectors
- Comprehensive child unit record level data not currently available for all jurisdictions, particularly for the non-government sector or unfunded preschools
- Children enrolled in multiple preschool programs are not identifiable within all jurisdictions
- Differences between data element collection methodologies and alignment to National data standards across jurisdictions.
Where information on the child’s usual place of residence is not available - that is, where insufficient information on the child’s address was collected or, where no address details have been provided, remoteness area in 2012 is to be assigned using the address of the service at which the child is enrolled. For more information on the collection methodologies and current data limitations for each state and territory, see the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2012 (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001).
More information on the ECEC NMDS can be found on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website, http://meteor.aihw.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/466523
Due to the differing levels of coverage, collection methodologies and alignment with the ECEC NMDS across jurisdictions, the data presented in Preschool Education, Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 4240.0)
may not be directly comparable across all jurisdictions.
The differences in the scope and counting rules
for the National ECEC Collection mean that the data presented in the publication are not strictly comparable to data published in other national or state/territory publications.
National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2012 (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001)
contains detailed information on the data sources, terminology and other technical aspects associated with
the National ECEC statistics.
The manual is available free for download from the
Related Information tab.
Please refer to the Downloads tab for the products that are available for free from this collection.
|If the information you require is not available as a standard product or service, then ABS Consultancy Services can help you with customised services to suit your needs. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.|
All data providers have been engaged in data development activities to improve both collection coverage and data quality. As a consequence, some data items may not be comparable across years. See the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2012 (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001)
for more information.