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Of the 158,523 children enrolled at a preschool, 39.0% were in Government preschools and 60.4% were in Non-government preschools. A small number of children were enrolled in multiple preschools across more than one sector type. (Table 3 and Graph 2)
Based on the main provider for a child (particularly where the child had more than one episode of enrolment), Queensland had the highest proportion of children enrolled in a preschool program within a long day care centre while the Northern Territory had the highest proportion of children enrolled in Government preschools. The distribution presented below reflects the different delivery models in each state and territory. (Table 3 and Graph 3)
The South Australian Government has implemented the new 'Same First Day' enrolment policy, which precluded 4 year old enrolments in Government preschools after May 2013. For the 2013 reference period, this policy change has had an impact on SA enrolment and attendance counts. For more information refer to Explanatory Notes, paragraph 25.
In 2013, there were 280,908 children attending a preschool program in Australia. The distribution of children attending a preschool program in 2013, by age, varied between states and territories. The distribution is also consistent with enrolments by state and territory. These variations largely reflect the different primary school starting age applicable in each state and territory. For more information on both preschool and primary school starting ages, please refer to the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2013 (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001). (Tables 3 and 4, Graph 4)
All states and territories recorded the highest proportions of children enrolled in a preschool program in the 'Enrolled 15 hours or more' range. The highest proportions of children in a preschool program in the 'Enrolled 15 hours or more' range occurred in Western Australia and Tasmania (both 97.3%), and Queensland (94.8%). (Table 21 and Graph 5)
Queensland also had the highest proportion of children attending a preschool program in the 'Attended 15 hours or more' per week range (80.9%), with the next highest being the Australian Capital Territory (79.5%), followed by Tasmania (74.4%). (Table 22 and Graph 6)
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER CHILDREN
In 2013, there were 12,970 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled in a preschool program in Australia. Of these children, 71.9% were enrolled in a preschool while 25.5% were enrolled in a preschool program within a long day care provider. Tasmania had the highest proportion of children enrolled in preschools (97.7%), closely followed by Western Australia (97.6%) and the Northern Territory (96.6%), whilst Queensland had the highest proportion of enrolments in preschool programs within a long day care (52.9%). (Table 6)
By remoteness areas, the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled in a preschool program were highest in Remote and Very Remote areas for the Northern Territory, while in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania the highest number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were in the Inner/Outer Regional areas. In South Australia, the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled in a preschool program were highest in Major City areas. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child enrolments were more evenly spread in Western Australia across Major Cities, Inner/Outer Regional and Remote/Very Remote areas. These numbers reflect the distribution of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child population. (Table 17 and Graph 7)
HOURLY FEES CHARGED
Nationally, over half (57.6%) of preschool enrolments required low out-of-pocket costs (between one and four dollars per hour). A high proportion (83.0%) of enrolments in Government preschool was fee-free, while 60.1% of Non-government preschools cost between one and four dollars per hour. Most children in preschool programs within long day care had hourly costs of between one and four dollars (75.9%). When comparing the states and territories, there was great variability in hourly fees charged, reflecting the different management types and service delivery models for each of the jurisdictions. This was particularly evident for preschool within long day care centres across the states and territories. (Table 28 and Graph 8)
In 2013, there were 8,654 service providers delivering a preschool program in Australia. Delivery models of preschool in Australia were comprised of 'Preschool' service providers and 'Preschool program within long day care' service providers. (Table A1).
In 2013, of all service providers that delivered a preschool program, 4,283 (49.5%) were a Preschool (either stand-alone or as part of a school), and 4,371 (50.5%) were long day care service providers. (Appendix Table A1)
In New South Wales there were 2,587 service providers operating a preschool program (859 preschools and 1,728 LDCs), Victoria had 2,144 (1,161 preschools and 983 LDCs) and Queensland had 1,768 (565 preschools and 1,203 LDCs). There were 575 service providers in South Australia (372 preschools and 203 LDCs) and Western Australia had 1,014 (884 preschools and 130 LDCs). Of the 228 service providers in Tasmania, 216 were preschools and 12 were LDCs. In the Northern Territory there were 176 service providers (143 preschools and 33 LDCs) and the Australian Capital Territory had 162 (83 preschools and 79 LDCs). (Appendix Table A1 and Graph 9)
Within the states and territories, Queensland had the highest proportion of preschool programs within a long day care compared to the total number of service providers delivering a preschool program (68.0%), while Tasmania had the lowest proportion (5.3%). New South Wales was the only other state or territory where more than half of all preschool programs were represented by preschool programs within LDC service providers (66.8%). (Appendix Table A1 and Graph 10)
Government/ Non-government within the Preschool activity type
Nationally, there were 1,857 (43.4%) Government preschools and 2,426 (56.6%) non-government preschools within the preschool service activity type. Government managed preschools were the predominant preschools with each over 90% in the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory and South Australia, followed by Western Australia (72.5%) and Tasmania (73.1%). These were in contrast to 18.2% Government preschools in New South Wales, 19.6% in Victoria and 21.2% in Queensland. (Appendix Table A1 and Graph 10)
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