Socioeconomic outcome area 3

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are engaged in high quality, culturally appropriate early childhood education in their early years

TARGET 3

By 2025, increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled in Year Before Full time Schooling (YBFS) early childhood education to 95 per cent.

Nationally in 2020, 93.1 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the Year Before Full time Schooling (YBFS) age cohort were enrolled in a preschool program (figure CtG3.1).

This is an increase from 76.7 per cent in 2016 (the baseline year).

Nationally, based on the current trend, the target is on track to be met.

Target data specifications

Target 3: Increase the proportion of children enrolled in early childhood education

Outcome:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are engaged in high quality, culturally appropriate early childhood education in their early years.

Target:

By 2025, increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled in Year Before Full time Schooling (YBFS) early childhood education to 95 per cent.

Indicator:

The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the state-specific YBFS age cohort who are enrolled in a preschool program.

Measure:

This measure is defined as:

Numerator — the estimated number of children in the state-specific YBFS age cohort enrolled in a preschool program

Denominator — the estimated number of children in the state-specific YBFS potential population

and is presented as a percentage.

Target established:

National Agreement on Closing the Gap July 2020

Latest dashboard update:

23 June 2021

Indicator type:

Target

Interpretation of change:

A high or increasing rate is desirable. An increase from the baseline year is an improvement.

Data source(s):

Name (numerator): Preschool Education, Australia

Frequency: Annual

Name (denominator): Estimates and Projections for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population

Frequency: Annual (data revised on a five-yearly basis)

Documentation (links): https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/education/preschool-education-australia

Data provider:

Provider name: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Provider area: Preschool education

Baseline year:

2016.

This is an existing National Indigenous Reform Agreement (NIRA) target. While the official baseline for this target is 2015, data are only comparable from 2016 onwards (see Data quality considerations).

Target year:

2025

Disaggregations:

State and territory and Australia, by Indigenous status.

Computation:

Numerator divided by Denominator multiplied by 100

Counting rules

The state-specific YBFS age cohort is an estimate of a single year cohort for the population that will transition to full time schooling in the following year. The state-specific YBFS definition uses the preschool and school age entry provisions of the state or territory in which the child usually resides. See Preschool Education, Australia methodology (http://www.abs.gov.au/methodologies/preschool-education-australia-methodology/)

Numerator:

  • Counts by Indigenous status include a share of children enrolled with a ‘not stated’ Indigenous status (in proportion to the ratio of children enrolled with known Indigenous status). Proportions are calculated from non-rounded counts.

Denominator:

  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is calculated from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population estimates and projections (series B).
  • The non-Indigenous population is calculated by subtracting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population from the total population).

Excludes (denominator):

  • Excludes counts of children aged 4 and 5 years of age in the state-specific cohort who are enrolled in school (early starters).

Data quality considerations:

Data for Preschool Education, Australia are collected through the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection (NECECC). Data are not fully comparable over time, or across jurisdictions, due to differences and changes in coverage and methodologies. See Preschool Education, Australia methodology (http://www.abs.gov.au/methodologies/preschool-education-australia-methodology/) for a description of the data collection methodologies and quality declarations.

Methods for the identification of Indigenous status vary by jurisdiction. For data supplied via the Australian Government's child care subsidy system (CCSS), children of families who choose not to identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander are classified as ‘non-Indigenous’ rather than ‘unknown/not stated’. Nationally in 2020, YBFS preschool enrolments with a ‘not stated’ Indigenous status were 0.2 per cent of all YBFS preschool enrolments. (Tasmania had the largest proportion with 4.1 per cent, followed by SA with 1.0 per cent).

The calculation of preschool enrolment rates for this indicator differs to the calculations used for reporting under the National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education and the annual Report on Government Services (RoGS). The calculations reported for the National Partnership do not restrict to the year before full time schooling, and the RoGS does not prorate for unknown Indigenous status.

Tasmania and the ACT have relatively small Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations compared to the other states and territories which means year-to-year variability in single year of age populations may be more pronounced. This may result in year-to-year variability of the rate of preschool enrolment in these jurisdictions and should be used with caution.

Future reporting:

Additional disaggregations required for future reporting:

  • Remoteness areas
  • Socioeconomic status of the locality
  • Gender.

Supporting indicators

Contextual information

  • Rate of attendance in early childhood education in the year before full-time schooling
  • Number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood education and care service providers
  • Progress towards parity

Material for download

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