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Educational institutions for children aged 0-4 years are structured, play-based learning programs delivered by degree-qualified teachers for children in the years leading up to full-time schooling1. Preschool participation increases school readiness, which is associated with better ongoing educational attainment and achievement as well as life outcomes more generally2-4. Children from disadvantaged families are less likely to be enrolled in preschool and tend to have lower attendance rates5.

Given the association between educational attainment and health outcomes across the lifespan, preschool participation levels can be used as an early indicator of child development and vulnerability to poor health outcomes. Therefore, it can be utilised by policy makers to reveal where children may be at risk of having poorer outcomes and to allocate resources and services to areas where they may be required to ensure healthy child development.

REFERENCES

  1. Australian Bureau of statistics [Internet]. Canberra ACT. Preschool Education, Australia, 2016, cat. no. 4240.0 [Internet]. ABS. 2017 Feb 2 [cited 29 May 2018]. Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4240.0Explanatory%20Notes12016?OpenDocument
  2. Rosier K, McDonald M. Promoting positive education and care transitions for children. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies; 2011 Nov [cited 2018 Jun 11]. Available from: https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/promoting-positive-education-and-care-transitions-children
  3. Hertzman C, Power C, Matthews S, Manor O. Using an interactive framework of society and life course to explain self-rated health in early adulthood. Social Science & Medicine, 2001; 53(12):1575-85. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0277-9536(00)00437-8
  4. Davies S, Janus M, Duku E, Gaskin A. Using the Early Development Instrument to examine cognitive and non-cognitive school readiness and elementary student achievement. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 2016; 35:63-75. Available from:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2015.10.002
  5. Commissioner for Children and Young People. “It’s like a big circle trap.” Discussion paper on children and young people’s vulnerability. [Internet]. CCYP. March 2018 [cited 26 June 2018]. Available from: https://www.ccyp.wa.gov.au/media/2961/report-vulnerability-discussion-paper-march-2018.pdf

Data Source 

Census of Population and Housing, Australian Bureau of Statistics

T13 and T03 - ABS TSP Census DataPacks

Numerator

Number of children aged 0-4 years attending educational institution

Denominator 

Total number of children aged 0-4

Unit of Measure 

Per cent (%)

Geography

SA2, SA3, LGA

Data Confidentiality

Areas with a numerator less than 5 have been supressed

Notes

Data are presented separately for the 2006, 2011, and 2016 Census years.