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 (2014-2016)
Ethnic group Gender Prior participation Number of new entrants Prior participation rate (%)
2014 2015 2016 2014 2015 2016 2014 2015 2016
Māori Female 548 597 556 617 659 606 88.8 90.6 91.7
Māori Male 581 626 659 679 704 727 85.6 88.9 90.6
Māori Total 1,129 1,223 1,215 1,296 1,363 1,333 87.1 89.7 91.1
Pacific Female 78 52 64 84 61 68 92.9 85.2 94.1
Pacific Male 62 69 75 73 80 80 84.9 86.3 93.8
Pacific Total 140 121 139 157 141 148 89.2 85.8 93.9
Asian Female 33 31 32 36 31 33 91.7 100.0 97.0
Asian Male 26 38 46 28 43 46 92.9 88.4 100.0
Asian Total 59 69 78 64 74 79 92.2 93.2 98.7
Other Female 11 16 17 11 16 17 100.0 100.0 100.0
Other Male 12 16 8 12 16 8 100.0 100.0 100.0
Other Total 23 32 25 23 32 25 100.0 100.0 100.0
European/Pākehā Female 566 615 603 587 635 620 96.4 96.9 97.3
European/Pākehā Male 560 671 631 580 692 649 96.6 97.0 97.2
European/Pākehā Total 1,126 1,286 1,234 1,167 1,327 1,269 96.5 96.9 97.2
Total Female 1,027 1,102 1,072 1,106 1,179 1,137 92.9 93.5 94.3
Total Male 1,058 1,202 1,171 1,174 1,298 1,250 90.1 92.6 93.7
Total Total 2,085 2,304 2,243 2,280 2,477 2,387 91.4 93.0 94.0
  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.