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 1,738 1,702 1,615 1,902 1,820 1,720 91.4 93.5 93.9
Māori Male 1,770 1,795 1,848 1,937 1,948 1,947 91.4 92.1 94.9
Māori Total 3,508 3,497 3,463 3,839 3,768 3,667 91.4 92.8 94.4
Pacific Female 2,285 2,483 2,339 2,561 2,725 2,537 89.2 91.1 92.2
Pacific Male 2,363 2,549 2,498 2,664 2,826 2,726 88.7 90.2 91.6
Pacific Total 4,648 5,032 4,837 5,225 5,551 5,263 89.0 90.7 91.9
Asian Female 2,081 2,239 2,350 2,136 2,287 2,396 97.4 97.9 98.1
Asian Male 2,171 2,418 2,572 2,227 2,480 2,632 97.5 97.5 97.7
Asian Total 4,252 4,657 4,922 4,363 4,767 5,028 97.5 97.7 97.9
Other Female 388 401 431 411 420 445 94.4 95.5 96.9
Other Male 381 419 435 403 441 458 94.5 95.0 95.0
Other Total 769 820 866 814 861 903 94.5 95.2 95.9
European/Pākehā Female 4,944 4,919 4,625 5,027 4,998 4,686 98.3 98.4 98.7
European/Pākehā Male 5,137 5,201 4,973 5,201 5,263 5,055 98.8 98.8 98.4
European/Pākehā Total 10,081 10,120 9,598 10,228 10,261 9,741 98.6 98.6 98.5
Total Female 9,908 10,030 9,748 10,423 10,467 10,119 95.1 95.8 96.3
Total Male 10,275 10,646 10,487 10,814 11,149 10,912 95.0 95.5 96.1
Total Total 20,183 20,676 20,235 21,237 21,616 21,031 95.0 95.7 96.2
  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.