Data and research

The Department of Education recognises the importance of making data-informed decisions that lead to improved education outcomes. Data plays a key role in the department’s monitoring and benchmarking progress, as well as in evaluating what works best.

In early childhood education, data related to participation, service quality, and the quantum and targeting of funding programs is particularly important. We know that these indicators help ensure the right support for services to deliver quality early childhood education for children. Both the NSW Government and the Commonwealth Government collect data against these indicators. The Annual Preschool Census is currently the NSW Government’s main data collection source.

Early childhood education data is often published in publicly available reports, including:

The data collected provides insights to help increase understanding of trends in early childhood education.

For example, we know that as of May 2017, there are 5,398 early childhood education services, including preschools, long day care, family day care and outside of school hours care centres across NSW. This number has grown by 42% since 2013 when there were 3,813.

ABS data shows that the number of 4 and 5 year old children enrolled in early childhood education has increased significantly since 2013.

graph of enrolments

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Graph of enrolments
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