Participation in high quality ECE has significant benefits for children and their future learning ability. ECE can positively impact literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills well into the teenage years. ECE also encourages the development of cognitive and attitudinal competencies, and leads to higher levels of achievement and better social outcomes.

ECE Participation has been identified as a key factor in supporting vulnerable children which has led to its inclusion in the Better Public Services Programme, launched in 2012. This Programme aims to increase participation in early childhood education to 98% of all new entrants by 2016 Prior ECE participation shows those students starting school that regularly participated in ECE prior to starting school.

Identical information is available for the region’s territorial authorities using the drop down menu above. For other territorial authorities first choose the appropriate region from the drop down menu above. Identical information for schools can be found on the Find a School pages.
Prior participation in early childhood education by ethnic group and gender (2016-2018)
Ethnic group Gender Prior participation Number of new entrants Prior participation rate (%)
2016 2017 2018 2016 2017 2018 2016 2017 2018
Māori Female 559 584 561 610 634 610 91.6 92.1 92.0
Māori Male 660 631 611 729 671 665 90.5 94.0 91.9
Māori Total 1,219 1,215 1,172 1,339 1,305 1,275 91.0 93.1 91.9
Pacific Female 67 81 67 71 86 73 94.4 94.2 91.8
Pacific Male 76 84 69 82 88 70 92.7 95.5 98.6
Pacific Total 143 165 136 153 174 143 93.5 94.8 95.1
Asian Female 32 46 53 33 47 53 97.0 97.9 100.0
Asian Male 48 51 47 48 53 48 100.0 96.2 97.9
Asian Total 80 97 100 81 100 101 98.8 97.0 99.0
Other Female 17 17 21 17 18 21 100.0 94.4 100.0
Other Male 10 16 16 10 16 17 100.0 100.0 94.1
Other Total 27 33 37 27 34 38 100.0 97.1 97.4
European/Pākehā Female 607 638 600 625 652 610 97.1 97.9 98.4
European/Pākehā Male 627 606 630 646 619 649 97.1 97.9 97.1
European/Pākehā Total 1,234 1,244 1,230 1,271 1,271 1,259 97.1 97.9 97.7
Total Female 1,075 1,112 1,102 1,141 1,174 1,157 94.2 94.7 95.2
Total Male 1,175 1,169 1,152 1,256 1,218 1,213 93.6 96.0 95.0
Total Total 2,250 2,281 2,254 2,397 2,392 2,370 93.9 95.4 95.1
  1. ‘x’ = data has been suppressed where there are between 0 and 5 students in the denominator for a specific group, for example Asian Females. Where one gender has been suppressed the corresponding gender has also been suppressed. Please note schools with small numbers of new entrants (less than 20) often are subject to large fluctuations and may not provide a very reliable basis for comparison with other categories.
  2. Ethnicity is multiple response, that is, students who affiliated in more than one ethnic group have been counted in each ethnic group. Students are only counted once in the total, therefore, the ethnic groups may not sum to the total.
  3. The number of students with unknown prior ECE attendance has been excluded from both the numerator and denominator when calculating participation rates.