Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Facts and Figures about Early Childhood Education in Australia

child education facts
I would love to start a discussion here about what you think about these current facts and figures coming from the OECD's Education at a Glance 2013 report. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report says only 13 per cent of Australian three-year-olds are enrolled in early childhood education programs, compared with the OECD average of 67 per cent.
There are many other facts:

  • the numbers of toddlers enrolled in early childhood classes fell in Australia.
  • The ratio of students to teaching staff in early childhood education (2011) was just below the OECD average. 
  • Australia is well below the average of all OECD countries, in enrolment rates, at age 4 in early childhood and primary education.  Chart C2.1. OECD Report.
  • Australia ranks extremely low on expenditure on early childhood educational institutions by both the public and private sector.
But I think just looking at these facts can be misleading, for example in some countries early childhood education programs are compulsory and in many European countries early childhood education is publicly funded.
So I would love your opinions on all or any of this.
Do you think it matters if children only attend preschool when they are 4?
Do you think that preschool affects whether children stay in school until they are 18 or have better success in life?
Did you know in a UNICEF report 'An Overview of child well-being in rich countries', in 2007, Australia was ranked very well in Educational achievement of 15 year-olds, an overview of reading, mathematical and scientific literacy?
Did you know Australia has the highest entry and enrolment rates in tertiary education?
How does the OECD report factor in historical and cultural differences between countries? 
How do we get the big picture on all of this?

(Sorry we are having trouble with font on this page and enlargements are not intended)


  1. I don't think its essential, great caring interacting parents are quite capable of doing a good job, but if you are sending kids to primary school it is a great stepping stone on that journey. We didn't do three year old kinder for our children, primarily because of the expense. Cost is definitely a factor in children missing out on preschool, it should be valued and government funded. Well beyond basic maths and literacy I value the social skills my child is learning whilst playing at kindergarten, she adores 4 year old kinder.

    1. I really agree. You have encapsulated the main points:
      parents involvement, costs, the social skills developed as well as other skills learnt at preschool.

  2. Australia's expenditure on education is so low - only 0.1% relative to GDP. The average in the OECD report is 0.6%. Why does Australia not value early childhood education?

    1. Great question, I would love to know what the Minister for Education would say to this question.

  3. This makes me so angry with the Australian Government who does not value early childhood no matter what they say and also the low wages of workers in this sector is atrocious.

  4. This diaper does not leak so easily like other cheap varieties. I am using it for quiet some time for my kids. Will suggest to others

    1. Is this a statement on the Australian committment to early child care??

  5. I have been on a long waitlist for ages and I only want childcare cause I need to go back to work- NEED not want - Australian government has let me and this generation down.