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 508 559 562 530 585 581 95.8 95.6 96.7
Māori Male 569 538 511 595 567 536 95.6 94.9 95.3
Māori Total 1,077 1,097 1,073 1,125 1,152 1,117 95.7 95.2 96.1
Pacific Female 97 84 115 100 87 119 97.0 96.6 96.6
Pacific Male 128 122 116 131 130 118 97.7 93.8 98.3
Pacific Total 225 206 231 231 217 237 97.4 94.9 97.5
Asian Female 80 85 92 84 87 94 95.2 97.7 97.9
Asian Male 74 85 98 79 89 102 93.7 95.5 96.1
Asian Total 154 170 190 163 176 196 94.5 96.6 96.9
Other Female 32 31 12 33 31 12 97.0 100.0 100.0
Other Male 25 42 19 25 44 19 100.0 95.5 100.0
Other Total 57 73 31 58 75 31 98.3 97.3 100.0
European/Pākehā Female 1,018 1,022 1,014 1,041 1,036 1,038 97.8 98.6 97.7
European/Pākehā Male 1,057 1,021 1,020 1,068 1,037 1,036 99.0 98.5 98.5
European/Pākehā Total 2,075 2,043 2,034 2,109 2,073 2,074 98.4 98.6 98.1
Total Female 1,479 1,535 1,516 1,527 1,576 1,559 96.9 97.4 97.2
Total Male 1,583 1,543 1,514 1,623 1,590 1,555 97.5 97.0 97.4
Total Total 3,062 3,078 3,030 3,150 3,166 3,114 97.2 97.2 97.3
  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.