4240.0 - Preschool Education, Australia, 2017 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/03/2018   
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9 March 2018
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
More Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander preschoolers

Some 17,455 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged four or five years were enrolled in a preschool program in 2017, up by 7.2 per cent since 2016, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today. Overall, the number of children aged four or five years that were enrolled in a preschool program in Australia increased by 2.6 per cent in 2017 (to 339,243).

ABS Education, Crime and Culture Program Manager, Stephen Collett, said the largest growth in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander enrolments occurred in the Australian Capital Territory (up 26 per cent) and Victoria (up 15 per cent).

“For those enrolled, attendance for 15 hours or more per week by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children increased by 12 per cent between 2016 and 2017, with the largest increases in attendance being in the Northern Territory (41 per cent) and New South Wales (26 per cent),” Mr Collett said.

“These new figures show us that more children than ever, who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, are both enrolled in a preschool program and attending for longer.”

Further information can be found in Preschool Education, Australia, 2017 (cat. no. 4240.0) available for free download from the ABS website.

Media Note:

  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • Data for the report were sourced from preschool program service providers, collected mainly from the Australian, state and territory governments.
  • A preschool program (also known as an early childhood education program) is a structured, play-based learning program, delivered by a degree qualified teacher, aimed at children in the year or two before they commence full-time schooling.
  • A child is considered to be Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander if he or she is identified by a parent/guardian as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.
  • Hours attending are calculated using a reference period in August each year. Children’s attendance during this period may not fully reflect their pattern of attendance over the whole year (due to illnesses, holidays, etc.).
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications and Partnerships Section on 1300 175 070 (8:30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
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