4240.0 - Experimental Estimates of Preschool Education, Australia, 2010 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/04/2011  First Issue
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This publication presents experimental estimates of counts of children enrolled and attending preschool programs, together with episodes of enrolment and attendance at preschool programs for children in the year before full-time school in 2010. Tables 1-32 in this chapter have been structured to give an indication of the intended future presentation of preschool education statistics.

The scope of the National ECEC Collection consists of all children enrolled and attending a preschool program in the year or two before commencing full-time schooling. State and territory governments in Australia are making provisions for children to attend a non-compulsory preschool program for at least 15 hours a week, 40 weeks a year, in the year before they commence full-time schooling as outlined in the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education. To produce estimates on this cohort of children attending preschool in the year before full-time schooling, where possible the 4 and 5 year old children are presented to represent this group of children.

It is important to note that due to the unavailability of data from the Commonwealth managed Child Care Management System (CCMS), estimates in this publication are not a complete representation of the preschool sector within each of the states and territory's preschool statistics. The extent to which data from CCMS will contribute to each state and territory varies. In future collections the CCMS will provide data on preschool programs delivered in Long Day Care (LDC) centres.


A key objective of the National ECEC Collection is to collect data on children enrolled in and attending a preschool program. In order to accurately report on the number of children who have received early childhood education, a requirement of the National ECEC Collection is to count each child once. Given the complexity of the service delivery models for ECEC across Australia, it is a statistical challenge to identify children attending multiple preschool programs within the collection. Identification of unique children records was resolved by application of a statistical linkage key and through consultation with jurisdictions.

Data availability

For 2010 counts of children enrolled in preschool programs are only available for Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, and counts of children attending preschool programs are only available for Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

For the purposes of reporting on hours or fees, total hours and total fees are counted for children enrolled and attending multiple preschool programs within or across sectors.

Tables 1 to 16 present estimates of children enrolled and attending preschool programs.


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. Therefore, statistics presented on episodes of preschools programs may be higher than the number of children enrolled and attending preschool programs as some children may have multiple episodes.

Data availability

Statistics for episodes of preschool programs are available for all states and territories. However, due the difference in collection reference periods used in some jurisdictions, only those using the same reference period can be presented together. Tables 17 to 32 present episodes of preschool programs for South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. Some data elements for these jurisdictions have not been disseminated due to unavailability or quality issues.


New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland data for the National ECEC Collection is based on different reference periods than the other jurisdictions for 2010 and hence are not directly comparable with other jurisdictions.

New South Wales

Data on preschool programs in New South Wales (NSW) is only available for programs delivered in government preschools or those in receipt of Government funding from the Community Services, Department of Human Services NSW. Data for preschools providers in the non-government sector not in receipt of NSW government funding was not available for 2010. The majority of these providers deliver preschool programs within LDCs and will be included in future collections with the inclusion of data from the CCMS.

There was a small proportion of non-government preschools not covered in the 2010 collection because they were not licensed by Community Services, Department of Human Services NSW. The majority are school-based preschools, associated with non-government schools. The appropriate mechanism to include these preschools in the National ECEC Collection for future cycles is still under investigation.

Therefore, the data presented in table 33 only represents episodes of preschool programs delivered in government schools, or community based preschools in the non-government sector in receipt of government funding. It should be noted that data for 37 preschool providers in the non-government sector funded by the NSW government, collected in aggregate format, were not able to be included in table 33. These 37 preschool providers delivered approximately 1450 episodes of preschool programs to children aged four, five and six in the NSW reference period.


Table 34 presents preschool data from all government funded providers though the 2010 Confirmed Kindergarten Funding Data Collection in Victoria. The collected data covered the vast majority of preschools in Victoria, irrespective of their management type and delivery setting.

Disaggregation by age for Victorian data was not available for 2010 and as a result the estimates in table 34 include a small number children aged three and six.


Table 35 presents all licensed preschools and LDCs centres collected through the Qld 2010 Early Childhood Education and Care Services Census. Participation in this census was voluntary but the collection received responses from almost all of the state government funded providers. LDCs identified as having a qualified teacher are included in the preschool total. LDCs without a qualified teacher are not included in the preschool total.

Occasional care services providing a Preschool program have been included in LDC totals.

Please see the 'Downloads' tab for Tables 1-35.