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Definition

The CS NMDS collects information about child care and preschool activities that are provided at services which are licensed and/or funded by Australian, state or territory governments to provide child care or preschool.

Children’s services aim to:

  • meet the care, educational and developmental needs of children in a safe and nurturing environment;
  • provide support for families in caring for their children;
  • and provide these services in an equitable and efficient manner.

In this collection, children’s services cover formal child care and preschools. The scope of the collection excludes activities meeting the aims above where they deliver compulsory primary education. However some children’s services within scope are delivered at primary schools. These include outside school hours care, vacation care and preschool activities.

Child care and preschool services are defined as:

  • a range of appropriate care and development activities for children; that
  • promote the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of children; which are
  • provided by a person other than the child’s parent or guardian; and
  • allow parents to participate in employment, education and training, community activities and personal activities, including family support.

Playgroups, toy libraries and other activities that require the attendance of the parent/guardian and the child are excluded from the scope of the CS NMDS.
Hence the CS NMDS covers a major portion of children’s services—those licensed as child care or preschool services or those that receive Australian or state/territory government funding to provide child care or preschool services. It does not cover ‘full-time primary education services’ for children, playgroups, toy libraries or other services or activities within services that require the attendance of the parent/guardian and the child.

In the CS NMDS, a service is defined as the organisational unit which delivers a child care or preschool service at a particular location. In terms of the CS NMDS, ‘service’ is considered as the main counting unit for the data collection. Information is collected on agencies, the children who use these services and the workers that deliver these services.

Services included in the CS NMDS:

  • Services licensed and/or funded by Australian, state or territory governments to deliver child care and preschool services at a particular location. Services receiving government funding are those that:
    • receive capital grants, operational funding or per capita funding from the Australian or state/territory governments;
    • receive funding as part of an approved educational establishment;
    • receive funding to reduce the cost of charges to parents (e.g. are ‘approved’ for the Child Care Benefit);
    • or a combination of the above.

Services excluded from the CS NMDS:

  • Services that are neither licensed by, or in receipt of funding from, Australian or state or territory governments.
  • Primary education: Full-time education that typically commences at around age 5 and lasts for 7–8 years. In New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, primary education extends from the year prior to Year 1 to Year 6 (or equivalent). In South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory it extends from the year prior to Year 1 to Year 7 (or equivalent). In Queensland it extends from Year 1 to Year 7 (or equivalent).
  • Services such as, playgroups, toy libraries and other services or activities that require the attendance of both the parent/guardian and the child.

Children

Children included in the CS NMDS:

  • All children attending or ‘usually attending’ child care and preschool activities within services during the collection week, which are within the scope of the CS NMDS. Children are classed as ‘usually attending’ if they have attended the service within the last month and either have a place that has been paid for, or who are enrolled in a service with a standing arrangement that they attend specific sessions during the collection week, but are absent during the collection week.

Children excluded from the CS NMDS:

  • Children using a type of service for which the service is not licensed by, or in receipt of any Australian or state/territory government funding.
  • Children who are only attending activities that their parent(s) or guardian(s) are also required to attend.

Workers

Workers included in the CS NMDS:

  • All paid and unpaid workers , including workers funded under CDEP, SNSS and JET schemes, present during the collection week, who undertake duties that mainly involve:
    • direct contact with children
    • management ; or
    • administration tasks;

for child care and preschool activities at services, which are within the scope of the CS NMDS.

  • Executives, directors or administration workers who are working at the delivery outlet and/or who are involved in the day to day management of the service.
  • Detailed information is collected about paid contact workers, i.e. those workers receiving wages or salary who work directly with children.

Workers excluded from the CS NMDS:

  • Workers absent for the entire collection week.
  • Workers funded under the SUPS scheme.
  • Executives, directors or administration workers within organisations who are not based at the service location and have no involvement in the day to day management of the service.
  • General staff or workers whose main duties do not involve working directly with children. This may include cooks, cleaners, gardeners, drivers and maintenance staff.
  • Workers whose work only relates to activities which are outside the scope of the CS NMDS (e.g. playgroups, toy libraries and other activities that require the attendance of both the parent or guardian and the child).

Metadata items in this Data Set Specification

Below is a list of all the components within this Dataset Specification.
Each entry includes the item name, whether the item is optional, mandatory or conditional and the maximum times the item can occur in a dataset.
If the items must occur in a particular order in the dataset, the sequence number is included before the item name.


Data Elements

Reference Data Element Data Type Length Inclusion #
Child—preschool service received indicator, code N Boolean 1 conditional 1
Person (address)—Australian postcode, code (Postcode datafile) {NNNN}
Specific Information:

In the Children's Services NMDS, this data element is only relevant to children who receive in-home child care services. It refers to the child's in-home address. It is used in conjunction with the data element Suburb/town/locality name (person).

- - mandatory 1
Person (address)—suburb/town/locality name, text A[A(49)]
Specific Information:

In the Children's Services NMDS, this data element is only relevant to children who receive in-home child care services. It refers to the child's in-home address. It is used in conjunction with the data element Postcode—Australian (person).

- - conditional 1
Person (employed)—education field of highest qualification, children's services code N[N] Number 2 conditional 1
Person (employed)—highest level of qualification in employment field, children's services code N[N] Number 2 conditional 1
Person (employed)—hours worked, total hours NNN
Specific Information:

In the Children's Services NMDS, this item will assist in the analysis of staffing inputs and enable a comparison of the staffing requirements across different job roles and service types.

It is important to include unpaid staff because of the contribution that volunteers make within many children’s services organisations.

This item is asking for actual staff hours worked by all child care and preschool services’ paid and unpaid workers/caregivers, not the rostered hours or full-time equivalent workers/caregivers.

Round to the nearest hour.

Actual hours of work refers to time spent at work for this children’s service during the data collection week and includes:

  • hours actually worked, including paid and/or unpaid overtime; and/or
    additional hours to those rostered; and
  • time corresponding to short rest periods.

Actual hours of work does not include:

  • hours paid for but not worked such as paid annual leave, public holidays or paid sick leave;
  • time taken in lieu or flex time;
  • meal breaks; and
  • time spent on travel to and from work.

Only hours worked in a service activity that is within the scope of the CS NMDS should be included. Any work undertaken by the worker in an activity that requires the parents/guardians of the children to be present should not be included.

Workers who are absent for the data collection week are not included within the scope of the CS NMDS. Therefore no workers should have the total number of hours worked recorded as 000.

String 3 conditional 1
Person (employed)—type of children's service work performed, code N Number 1 conditional 1
Person—activity and participation life area, code (ICF 2001) AN[NNN]
Specific Information:

This is used in conjunction with an indicator of the need for assistance to determine what activity and participation life area/s a child may need assistance with.

- - conditional 1
Person—date of birth, DDMMYYYY
Specific Information:

In the Children's Services NMDS, this data element refers to the date of birth of the child attending the children’s service.

Date/Time 8 mandatory 1
Person—Indigenous status, code N
Specific Information:

In the Children's Services NMDS, this data element is collected twice:

  • for the paid contact worker/caregiver; and
  • for the child attending children's services.
Number 1 conditional 1
Person—labour force status, code N
Specific Information:

In the Children's Services NMDS, this item is only applicable to the child's parent(s)/guardian(s).

Number 1 conditional 1
Person—letters of family name, text XXX
Specific Information:

In the Children's Services NMDS, this is a specific combination of letters selected from the child’s family name/surname to provide a child identifier within and across child care or preschool services and to assist with record linkage.

- - mandatory 1
Person—letters of given name, text XX
Specific Information:

In the Children's Services NMDS, this is a specific combination of letters selected from the child’s first given name to provide a child identifier within and across child care or preschool services and to assist with record linkage.

- - mandatory 1
Person—main language other than English spoken at home, code (ASCL 2005) NN{NN}
Specific Information:

In the Children's Services NMDS, this item is applicable to the child and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s).

Number 4 conditional 1
Person—need for assistance with activities in a life area, code N
Specific Information:
Record only whether the child has need for assistance or not. This is used in conjunction with the activity and partipation life area.
Number 1 conditional 1
Person—principal role, children's service code N Number 1 mandatory 1
Person—sex, code N
Specific Information:

This item is collected for the child attending children’s services, for the paid contact worker/caregiver in the children’s service, and the parent(s)/guardian(s) who usually reside in the same household where the child is spending most of their time during the collection week.

Number 1 optional 1
Service provider organisation—management type, children's services code N Number 1 mandatory 1
Service provider organisation—number of service operation weeks (calendar year), total NN
Specific Information:

In the Children's Services NMDS, this data element refers to the number of full and/or part weeks per year that a child care or preschool service is open for the provision of service(s).

This data element is an indicator of availability of child care and preschool services.

This data element will be used to gain a greater understanding of patterns of service delivery, in conjunction with information about the hours in the day and the days in the week in which child care or preschool activities are available at a service.

New services should count the number of weeks that the service plans to operate in a full year.

This question is asked of all services including family day care/in-home care services and their individual caregivers.

This data element is used in conjunction with the data elements Session start time, Session finish time, and Day of operation.

Number 2 mandatory 1
Service provider organisation—organisation identifier (children's services), N(6) Number 6 conditional 1
Service provider organisation—service delivery setting, children's services code N Number 1 conditional 1

Comments

Origin:

Children's Services National Minimum Data Dictionary, AIHW 2005.

References

Related content

Relation Count
As a numerator in an Indicator 0
As a denominator in an Indicator 0
As a disaggregation in an Indicator 0