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Quality data counts at Census time

 
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Documents for the Queensland Early Childhood Education and Care Census are now online.

Early childhood education and care services, including long day care, kindergarten, family day care, outside school hours care, and state and non-state schools that provide kindergarten programs, are asked to complete the annual Census 2021.

Follow these time-saving tips to complete the Census.

Take some time to p​repare

A little preparation will make completing the Census so much easier.

Firstly, refer to the ‘How to prepare guide’ on the Early Childhood Education and Care Services Census​ page​.

Secondly, download and print a consent form for each staff member. These forms run to 4 pages and ask for detailed information on qualifications and in-service training. Leaving this important step to the last minute – or skipping this step and guessing the answers – may result in follow-up contact from the department’s Census support team.

Reuse responses from the National Workforce Census

Earlier this year, the Australian Government asked services to complete the National Workforce Census. Services can reuse those responses to complete the Queensland Census where relevant. It’s still important to complete the Queensland Census so we can better understand and support Queensland services.

Count​ all staff

Services need to report all staff, including:

  • all paid and unpaid workers (excluding parent helpers) who undertake duties that mainly involve direct contact with children, management or administration tasks, including staff who are on leave (of any kind)
  • principals, deputy principals, executives, directors or administrative workers who are working at the service and/or are directly involved in the day to day management of the service
  • any worker providing food preparation tasks
  • all staff on paid or unpaid leave and staff employed through a relief agency
  • other unpaid staff members (volunteers) engaged to work with children (excluding parent helpers).

Services do not need to report:

  • workers involved in maintaining the physical environment e.g. cleaners, gardeners and maintenance workers
  • Management Committees, executives, directors or administrative workers who are not based at this service and not involved in its day-to-day management
  • parent helpers.

Questions on the staff consent form ask for identifying information, such as age, gender and cultural background. If a staff member does not consent to the use of their personal information, you can still provide the information about their hours worked, employment status and qualifications using a name that identifies them to the director of the service but not the department (e.g. Staff Member 1).

This information is vital to government planning, especially as we work to develop a National Workforce Strategy for the early childhood education and care sector. For any personal questions they’d rather not answer, choose the option ‘not stated’.

An extra tip for outside school hours care​​ providers

Count the children – not the bookings

Some children attend outside school hours care (OSHC) morning and afternoon for several days a week. Some do not. The important thing is to count the children, not the bookings. For example, if Sam attends 7 OSHC sessions a week and Li attends 3, each child is only counted once.

Extra tips for approved kindergarten program p​​roviders

Count all children in the pr​ogram

Some children attend an approved kindergarten program despite not being eligible for the standard subsidy from the Queensland Kindergarten Funding Scheme. Usually, this is because they do not meet the age criteria for eligibility. Yet, whether or not all children attract the subsidy, all children enrolled in the program need to be counted for the Census.

Save time by revie​​wing the child upload checklist

Before downloading records of kindergarten children from an internal system, first consult the child upload checklist before uploading the children’s records into the Census. This will dramatically reduce the time taken to complete the Census.

Understand th​​​e kindy cycles

When a kindergarten service operates on a 2-week cycle (that is, 2 days 1 week, 3 days the next), a child’s hours of attendance will need to be averaged.

This means adding a child’s hours of attendance for both weeks and dividing by 2. This process ensures a more accurate figure is recorded and reduces the need for follow-up emails.

Thank ​you

The department recognises service providers invest significant time in completing the Census. Providing quality information is important to the sector as well as the department.

The data determines Queensland's allocation of Kindergarten funding from the Australian Government and informs decision making in the year ahead on the important issues of funding, workforce planning and program development.

Review information to prepare​ for the 2021 Queensland Census.​

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Last updated 12 August 2021