The wellbeing and engagement collection (WEC) is an annual survey conducted by the Department for Education that asks students three questions about friendship to give an overall wellbeing rating for friendship (low, medium, high). In 2018 the WEC was completed by 65,000 year 4 to year 10 students from 524 schools.
In 2018, 90% of all year 4 to year 10 students reported a medium or high wellbeing rating for friendship, remaining steady from 2016 (90%). The proportions of Aboriginal students and students with disability who reported a medium or high rating for friendship was 89% and 87% respectively. Year 4 students were more likely to report satisfaction (91%) compared to year 10 students (89%).
In metropolitan Adelaide, the region with the highest proportion of year 4 to year 10 students with a medium or high wellbeing rating for friendship was Unley (94%). In regional/remote South Australia the region with the highest proportion was Lower North (91%).
Children enrolled in a preschool program
In South Australia, children may start in a preschool program in the year before commencing in school full time. A preschool program (also known as kindergarten) is a structured, play based learning program delivered by a degree qualified teacher.
In 2018, a total of 19,725 children had been enrolled in a preschool program in the year before commencing school full time (an increase since 2016). The proportions of enrolments for 3-5 year olds in 2018 were:
- 3 year olds – 55% (53% in 2016)
- 4 year olds – 90% (88% in 2016)
- 5 year olds – 18% (17% in 2016).
In metropolitan Adelaide, the two regions with the highest enrolments were Onkaparinga (2,069) and Salisbury (1,809). In regional/remote South Australia, the two regions with the highest enrolments were Murray and Mallee (830) and Limestone Coast (777).
In South Australia, the proportion of all children (3-5 years) enrolled in preschool has increased from 2016 to 2018.
Children and young people participating in creative activities
In 2017-18, 67% of children and young people aged 5-14 years in South Australia participated in 1 or more creative activities in the previous 12 months, compared to 63% nationally.
Creative activities included participation in drama, singing, playing a musical instrument, dancing, art and craft, creative writing or creating digital content.
The largest proportion of children and young people that participated in creative activities was 5-8 year olds (43%). Those who participated in creative activities in the previous 12 months, were most likely to have participated in 3 activities (26%).
Specialist homelessness services
Specialist homelessness services (SHS) provide responsive assistance to children and young people and/or their parents, carers or families. In 2017-18, the rate of children and young people under 20 years receiving SHS assistance in South Australia was 160 per 10,000 population, a decrease from 2012-13 when the rate was 200 per 10,000 population.
In the Adelaide Central and Hills region the rate of children and young people under 20 years receiving SHS assistance in 2017-18 was 82 per 10,000 population. In outback South Australia the rate was 292 per 10,000 population.
The proportion of Aboriginal children and young people under 20 years receiving SHS assistance in 2017-18 was 9.5%, a slight decrease from 10.9% in 2012-13.
Aboriginal children in preschool
In South Australia, Aboriginal children may start preschool when they turn 3. Also known as kindergarten, a preschool program is a structured, play based learning program, delivered by a degree qualified teacher.
In 2018, there were 1,924 Aboriginal children aged 3-5 years enrolled in a preschool program in South Australia (798 aged 3 years, 909 aged 4 years and 217 aged 5 years).
The proportion of Aboriginal children aged 3 years enrolled in a preschool program in South Australia in 2018 was 82%. This is an increase from 62% in 2013.
In the region which covers Adelaide, Mount Gambier, the Riverland, Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island there were 1,364 Aboriginal children aged 3-5 years enrolled in a preschool program. In the region of which covers Port Augusta, Whyalla, Coober Pedy and most of the Far North communities there were 423 Aboriginal children aged 3-5 years enrolled in a preschool program. In the Port Lincoln – Ceduna region there were 135 enrolments for Aboriginal children aged 3-5 in a preschool program.
Language Spoken at Home
There are over 57,000 children and young people under the age of 15 in South Australia who speak a language other than English at home.
Most of these children and young people live in metropolitan Adelaide with a significant proportion living in the northern regions of Adelaide. The Salisbury region has more than 9,000 children and young people who speak a language other than English at home and the Port Adelaide region has nearly 8,000.
At the 2016 Australian Census, there were 892 Aboriginal children and young people under the age of 15 who spoke an Australian Indigenous Language at home. Of these, 466 spoke Pitjantjatjara and 96 spoke Ngarrindjeri.