This data set has been developed to support the collection of data under the National Information Agreement on Early Childhood Education and Care. Responsibility for early childhood learning and care is shared between the Australian Government and the state and territory governments, and involves a wide range of service providers including government, local government, community, schools and the private sector.
The Agreement provides a framework for cooperation between the Commonwealth, state and territory jurisdictions and information agencies to develop the early childhood education and care (ECEC) information base required for the Council of Australian Government (COAG) early childhood reform agenda.
Data and information in scope of the Agreement include:
- Activity under the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education (NP ECE) and the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education (NP UAECE)
- ECEC information required to support the information needs of other National Agreements and National Partnerships, including the National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development and the National Indigenous Reform Agreement
- Outcomes in relation to the COAG Participation and Productivity Agenda
- Other national reporting purposes, including but not limited to, the Report on Government Services, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage, Report to COAG Reform Council, and Headline Indicators on Children’s Health, Development and Wellbeing
- Monitoring, research and evaluation related to children, families and early childhood development services under the Early Childhood Development Strategy (ECDS).
Service provider organisations for the purposes of this collection are agencies directly providing services to children at a specific location. This includes organisations providing early childhood education programs, and other early childhood education and direct care services.
Organisations may provide multiple services, however for the purpose of reporting against the NP ECE and NP UAECE, only early childhood education programs are included.
The scope of the data set is therefore all service providers delivering an early childhood education program to children enrolled aged 3 to 6 (inclusive) during the reference period, noting that coverage of 3 year olds varies across jurisdictions.
Within this scope, an early childhood education program is a structured, play-based learning program, delivered by a qualified teacher aimed at children in the year or two before they commence full-time schooling, irrespective of the type of institution that provides it or whether it is government funded or privately provided. Programs may be delivered in a variety of service settings including separate preschools or kindergartens, long day care centres, in association with a school etc.
The terms most commonly used to describe early childhood education programs which are subject to the 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.
An early childhood education program may or may not be delivered in such a way that meets the Universal Access goal. The requirements for Universal Access are listed below.
The NP UAECE is a commitment to joint Commonwealth, State and Territory action to maintain universal access to quality early childhood education programs.
Universal access means that every child, in the year before they commence full-time schooling, has access to:
- quality early childhood education program(s)
- delivered for at least 600 hours per year
- in a form that meets the needs of children, parents and community
- and at a cost that does not present a barrier to participation.
To apply the requirements of the NP UAECE to the data set, a 'quality' early childhood education program is a program which is delivered in the year before full-time schooling by a qualified early childhood teacher, in accordance with the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standard.
Monitoring information is to be maintained for the previous NP ECE where possible. However, specific data elements, data definitions and terminologies in the data set conform to those used in the NP UAECE.
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.
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Person—person identifier, XXXXXX[X(14)]
This identifier is reported for the worker.
This item allows those jurisdictions who have the capacity to report an identifier for workers (but not a Statistical Linkage Key for workers) to provide this information voluntarily to facilitate the accurate reporting of the number of teachers working, including those working across multiple service providers.
Record—linkage key, code 581 XXXXXDDMMYYYYN
This is the statistical linkage key of the worker.
This item allows those jurisdictions who have the capacity to report a statistical linkage key for workers to provide this information voluntarily to facilitate the accurate reporting of the number of teachers working, including those working across multiple service providers.
National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education
National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education
This content Based on Australian Institute of Health and Welfare material. Attribution provided as required under the AIHW CC-BY licence.
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