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 27 45 44 28 47 46 96.4 95.7 95.7
Māori Male 48 42 43 48 43 43 100.0 97.7 100.0
Māori Total 75 87 87 76 90 89 98.7 96.7 97.8
Pacific Female 5 8 x 6 8 3 83.3 100.0 x
Pacific Male 10 9 x 11 12 9 90.9 75.0 x
Pacific Total 15 17 12 17 20 12 88.2 85.0 100.0
Asian Female 10 9 12 10 9 13 100.0 100.0 92.3
Asian Male 12 7 8 12 8 8 100.0 87.5 100.0
Asian Total 22 16 20 22 17 21 100.0 94.1 95.2
Other Female x x x 0 1 3 x x x
Other Male x x x 1 2 5 x x x
Other Total x x 8 1 3 8 x x 100.0
European/Pākehā Female 262 269 243 266 275 250 98.5 97.8 97.2
European/Pākehā Male 275 262 274 277 265 277 99.3 98.9 98.9
European/Pākehā Total 537 531 517 543 540 527 98.9 98.3 98.1
Total Female 281 299 275 286 307 283 98.3 97.4 97.2
Total Male 310 296 309 313 301 312 99.0 98.3 99.0
Total Total 591 595 584 599 608 595 98.7 97.9 98.2
  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.