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 444 474 533 451 483 543 98.4 98.1 98.2
Māori Male 486 497 476 498 515 486 97.6 96.5 97.9
Māori Total 930 971 1,009 949 998 1,029 98.0 97.3 98.1
Pacific Female 151 173 188 164 180 200 92.1 96.1 94.0
Pacific Male 157 182 187 169 198 195 92.9 91.9 95.9
Pacific Total 308 355 375 333 378 395 92.5 93.9 94.9
Asian Female 233 269 326 243 275 332 95.9 97.8 98.2
Asian Male 266 264 291 279 269 292 95.3 98.1 99.7
Asian Total 499 533 617 522 544 624 95.6 98.0 98.9
Other Female 70 52 94 74 57 98 94.6 91.2 95.9
Other Male 86 72 97 88 78 99 97.7 92.3 98.0
Other Total 156 124 191 162 135 197 96.3 91.9 97.0
European/Pākehā Female 2,734 2,773 2,628 2,772 2,801 2,660 98.6 99.0 98.8
European/Pākehā Male 2,849 2,815 2,676 2,883 2,850 2,701 98.8 98.8 99.1
European/Pākehā Total 5,583 5,588 5,304 5,655 5,651 5,361 98.7 98.9 98.9
Total Female 3,288 3,397 3,368 3,352 3,446 3,424 98.1 98.6 98.4
Total Male 3,498 3,468 3,320 3,559 3,540 3,363 98.3 98.0 98.7
Total Total 6,786 6,865 6,688 6,911 6,986 6,787 98.2 98.3 98.5
  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.