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 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 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
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).
Collection and usage attributes
• The CS NMDS collection would preferably occur during the same collection week in each state/territory on a regular basis. A collection week begins at 12:00am on a Monday morning and ends at 11:59pm on a Sunday night, i.e. from midnight to midnight for seven days ending on a Sunday night. A different collection week will be used for a collection specific to vacation care. • The data element Service ID will uniquely identify services that deliver child care or preschool activities to children. Organisations involved in the provision of child care and preschool activities have various organisational structures:
Some have a simple structure where responsibility for funding, administration and delivery of services is at the one level, for example private long day care centres or licensed home-based care providers.
Other organisations have a complex, hierarchical structure where these responsibilities are located at different levels of an organisation, or with different organisations, for example long day care centre management committees or family day care schemes.
In a complex structure, one level of an organisation may be accountable to government. A lower level of the same organisation may be responsible for managing the provision of child care and preschool activities at one or more services. It is at these services providing child care or preschool activities to children where data is collected and reported using the CS NMDS.