Annual ECE Census 2020: Fact Sheets Publications
These fact sheets summarise the results from the June 2020 Annual Census of ECE services. They provide snapshots of a sector-wide statistical summary of key aspects of the early childhood education sector.
Author(s): Education Data and Knowledge, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: February 2021
The Early Childhood Education (ECE) census is administered every year and provides a snapshot of high level statistics for ECE in New Zealand. Data captured is for a one week period, typically the last week in June and includes information about the services, enrolment/attendance numbers, teaching staff, and the use of languages.
The 2020 ECE census week was June 22 to 28.
- There were 190,348 enrolments at licensed early learning services during the 2020 ECE Census week, a 4% decrease from 2019 (198,923 enrolments).
- The total proportion of all children in New Zealand aged 0-4 years old who attended a licensed early learning service during the 2020 ECE Census week was 60.7% (down from 63.9% in 2019). This includes 91.5% of 4-year olds (down from 94.2% in 2019) and 86.2% of 3-year olds (down from 89.8% in 2019).
- Te Kura (formerly known as The Correspondence School) is the only licensed early learning service type to have seen an increase in enrolments between the 2019 and 2020 ECE Census. There were 333 children enrolled in early learning at Te Kura in 2020, up 21 from 2019.
- The total number of licensed early learning services has increased to 4,662 services, up 0.2% from the 4,653 services reported in the 2019 ECE Census.
- Proportions of enrolments by service type were largely the same between the 2018, 2019 and 2020 ECE Census.
- Occupancy rates have steadily decreased in most service types since 2017. The average occupancy rate for playcentres across New Zealand was 48.3% during the 2020 ECE Census week (48.0% in 2019). The average occupancy rate for kindergartens was 82.5% (82.3% in 2019), and for education & care services it was 78.0% (78.8% in 2019).
- There were slightly more children per adult in licensed early learning services during the Census week in 2020 than in 2019. There was a national average of 5.7 children per adult during each service’s busiest time, up from a national average of 5.6 in 2019.
- The only licensed early learning service on the Chatham Islands is a Kōhanga Reo.
- The total number of teaching staff at licensed early learning services during the 2020 ECE Census week was 30,476, down 5% from the 32,065 who worked in the 2019 ECE Census week.
- Women account for 97% of teaching staff at early learning services, and 65% of teaching staff identify as Pākehā.
- The percentage of qualified teaching staff at licensed early learning services has increased from 68% in 2019 to 72% in 2020.
- Just over a quarter of our teaching staff (26%) are in the 31 to 40-year old age group, while less than 10% are 61 years old and above. Older teaching staff are more likely to be qualified than younger teaching staff This is likely because younger people often work in early learning while gaining a qualification that allows for registration with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.
- The new ‘total hours worked’ question allows us to calculate the percentage of working time that teaching staff spend in contact with children. 91% of the working time of education and care teaching staff is spent in contact with children. This is higher than the 70% for kindergarten teaching staff.
Where to find out more
Education Data Requests
If you have any questions about education data then please contact us at:
Email: Requests EDK
Phone: +64 4 463 8065