Preschool participation

Notes on the data: Education

Preschool enrolments, children aged 4 years, 5 years, and 4 and 5 years, 2020


Policy context: Research has shown that positive educational and life outcomes for children, particularly those from more disadvantaged backgrounds are linked to participation in a quality preschool program [1]. Participation in high quality preschool supports school readiness as children were found to perform better at school with these benefits persisting over time. Children who attended preschool were found to outperform those who did not across all elements of national assessment results for Year 3 students, including numeracy, reading, spelling, writing and grammar [2].


  1. Rosier K. & McDonald, M. Promoting positive education and care transitions for children. Child Family Community Australia Resource Sheet, November 2011. Australian Institute of Family Studies, accessed 9 April 2018. Available from:
  2. Department of Education and Training. How is the Government supporting access to preschool education? Factsheet, July 2017, accessed 9 April 2018. Available from:

Notes: These data are generally not published as percentages, as the age at which children commence preschool and leave preschool to enter primary school varies between jurisdictions, and includes children from age three and to age six. Calculating the percentage of children at age four in preschool against the percentage of children in the population at this age results in some proportions of over 100%. This also occurs with those aged five. However, in order to provide an understanding of variations between geographic areas, we have calculated percentages. More information can be found at 27 September 2019.

Care should be taken when interpreting preschool enrolments. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, various restrictions were in place when the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection (NECECC) was conducted. Due to the temporary closure of preschool program providers in Victoria, attendance data for Victoria are not published.


Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile of socioeconomic disadvantage of area and Remoteness Area


Numerator:  The indicators presented are:

  • Children aged 4 years old enrolled in and attending a preschool program
  • Children aged 5 years old enrolled in and attending a preschool program
  • Children aged 4 and 5 years old enrolled in and attending a preschool program

Denominator: Children aged 4 years old/ 5 years old/ 4 and 5 years old


Source: Compiled by PHIDU based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics Preschool Education, Australia, 2020; data extracted from Survey TableBuilder


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