Closing the Gap

Children are engaged in high quality, culturally appropriate early childhood education in their early years

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Children are engaged in high quality, culturally appropriate early childhood education in their early years

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 Fulltime Schooling (YBFS) early childhood education to 95 per cent.

Summary on Target

This is an existing National Indigenous Reform Agreement (NIRA) target. The target baseline is 20151 and it expires in 2025.

1 While the baseline for this target is 2015, comparable data is available from 2016. The ABS introduced significant changes to its data collection methodology in 2016. As a result of these changes, the data from 2016 onwards is not comparable to previous years’ data.

Baseline data

Baseline data for the target measure is presented below at a national level, and for each state and territory where available. This will show starting points for each target, by jurisdiction.

Table 3.1: Early childhood education, proportion of children enrolled in a preschool program in state-specific year before full-time schooling(a), by state/territory, 2016–2018(b)(c)

Indigenous %
Year NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT Australia (d)
2016 60.1 88.1 82.2 94.8 96.3 90.9 85.2 79.5 76.7
2017 68.0 94.8 83.1 96.0 101.4 91.9 98.5 80.4 81.1
2018 75.7 96.5 82.7 97.7 107.5 98.5 101.3 75.9 84.6
Non-Indigenous %
Year NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT Australia (d)
2016 84.6 93.7 96.7 98.7 92.8 98.9 97.0 96.1 91.9
2017 84.4 93.9 90.3 97.9 93.3 100.9 99.5 96.3 90.7
2018 84.9 88.4 85.4 98.9 96.0 101.4 100.4 98.2 88.8

Source

ABS (unpublished) Preschool Education, Australia 2018 (cat. no. 4240.0); ABS (2018) Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2018 (cat. no. 3101.0); ABS (unpublished) Births, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 3301.0); ABS (2019) Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 to 2031, Series B (cat. no. 3238.0); ABS (2019) Schools, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 4221.0).

Notes

  1. This table shows the number of children enrolled in early childhood education in the year before full-time schooling as a proportion of the estimated or ‘potential’ population of children in the year before full-time schooling. The ABS National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection (NECECC) is the source of enrolment numbers and attendance rates, while population estimates are sourced from Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 to 2031, based on the 2016 Census. As a consequence, enrolment proportions may exceed 100 per cent for some jurisdictions due to the numerator and denominator being from different sources. The data are also subject to the inconsistent identification of Indigenous status across different data collections.
  2. In the ABS NECECC, there are some children whose Indigenous status is not stated (or inadequately defined). In the proposed estimation of counts and proportion of children enrolled, these children are apportioned to either Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander category or non-Indigenous in proportion to the children whose Indigenous status is recorded.
  3. Cells in this table have been randomly adjusted and rounded to avoid the release of confidential data. Discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
  4. Includes Other Territories.

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National Target Trajectory

The chart shows the early childhood education enrolment rates for Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in Year before fulltime schooling programs and the Indigenous trajectory to reach the target by 2025.

Notes

  • The chart shows the number of children enrolled in early childhood education in the year before full-time schooling as a proportion of the estimated or ‘potential’ population of children in the year before full-time schooling.
  • The ABS National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection (NECECC) is the source of enrolment numbers and attendance rates, while population estimates are sourced from Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 to 2031, based on the 2016 Census.

Source

National Indigenous Reform Agreement Performance Information Management Group; ABS (unpublished)

Preschool Education, Australia 2018 (cat. no. 4240.0); ABS (several issues)