More than half of Aussie kids aged 4 and 5 at pre-school

THE number of Australian children aged four or five years old in a preschool program last year hit more than 288,000, figures from the ABS show.

Data released on Friday by the bureau also revealed just over half (55%) were enrolled with a "preschool service provider" and 42% were enrolled in long day care centres.

Of the 158,523 children in a registered service provider, 39% were enrolled in government preschools while 60% were in non-government preschools.

The data also showed most children in all states and territories were enrolled for at least 15 hours or more a week.