Access to early childhood education in Australia: insights from a qualitative study

3 Jul 2014

Based on interviews with 94 parents in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia, this report investigates parents' knowledge of and attitudes towards early childhood education.

Executive summary

This report documents the background, methodology and findings from the Access to Early Childhood Education (AECE): Qualitative Study, undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) and commissioned by the then Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR; now the Department of Education) on behalf of the Early Childhood Data Subgroup (ECDSG). This research was commissioned within the context of the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education (NP ECE), which jointly committed the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments to achieving universal access to preschool by 2013.

The AECE Qualitative Study was undertaken in order to develop a qualitative evidence base about how the concept of “access” to early childhood education (ECE) is defined and understood, and to explore what reasons and barriers exist in relation to access to ECE. A qualitative framework was chosen for this study to enable more in-depth study of any barriers to ECE, and/or factors that lead to parents making particular decisions about their children’s use of ECE.


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