Annual ECE Census Summary Report 2012

Publication Details

This report summarises the results from the July 2012 Annual Census of ECE services. It includes statistics on the number of services, number of enrolments, hours of attendance, number of teachers, language of communication used by teachers, and other statistics about teachers.

Author(s): Data Management and Analysis, Ministry of Education.

Date Published: January 2013


Highlights 2012


  • There were 196,535 enrolments in licensed early childhood education services in July 2012, an increase of 1.3 percent (or 2,434) since 2011, and 22.7 percent (36,362) over the last decade.
  • Enrolment growth is at its lowest rate since 2006. It coincides with a 1.7 percent decrease, or 4,300 fewer children aged under 4 years, in 2012.
  • The rate of participation, however, is still increasing. Results from school data show that 95.0 percent of children starting school in the year ending June 2012 had attended ECE. This was up 0.3 percentage points, or 1,000 children, from the previous year. The number of ECE enrolments per population also increased in 2012 at every age.
  • Children are continuing to be enrolled longer in ECE across all teacher-led service types. Average hours enrolled per week increased to 21.1 hours in 2012, which is an increase of 40 minutes from 2011. Forty percent of ECE enrolments attended for 20 hours or more in 2012.
  • Of the total number of enrolments in licensed early childhood education services, 17 percent were aged 1 or below, 19 percent were aged 2, and 64 percent were 3 years or over.
  • Education and care, and home-based services continue to grow faster than other parts of the sector. Both services and enrolments grew by over 3 percent, compared with declines of between 2 percent and 4 percent in other ECE service types.
  • The number of services grew by 2.4 percent in 2012, compared with 2.9 percent the previous year, once mergers resulting from licensing changes in July 2011 are taken into account. Of the 152 new services opening in 2012, 143 were either education and care or home-based services.
  • Excluding kōhanga reo, there were 107,425 enrolments in 20 Hours ECE at July 2012. This made up 90 percent of all enrolments of 3-5 year-olds in licensed services, and is an increase of 3.4 percent from the previous year.
  • In 2012, the 83 percent of playgroups (or 744 playgroups) that responded to the census reported 21,192 playgroup attendances. The total number of playgroups increased by 9.4 percent (or 77 playgroups) to 896 at July 2012. Around two-thirds of the children who attended playgroups were aged 2 years or under.
  • Eighty-one percent of enrolled children attended ECE during the week of the 2012 ECE Census. Tuesday was the most attended day and Friday the least.
  • Waiting times fell a little in 2012. Twenty-two percent of 3 year-olds had waiting times of more than three months, down from 26 percent in 2011.
  • There was a total of 21,455 teaching staff in teacher-led ECE services in July 2012, up 811 (or 3.9 percent) from July 2011. Sixty-nine percent of teaching staff were full-time and 31 percent were part-time.
  • The number and proportion of qualified and registered ECE teachers continued to increase. The proportion of teaching staff that was qualified increased from 69 percent to 71 percent in 2012. The number of qualified Māori ECE teachers increased by 12 percent to 1,221, while the number of qualified Pasifika ECE teachers increased by 5 percent to 1,179.
  • Forty-nine percent of teacher-led services had at least 80 percent qualified teaching staff, an increase from 46 percent in July 2011.
  • In 2012, 73 percent of teaching staff in teacher-led services were registered, up from 71 percent the previous year. This represented an increase of over 800 registered teachers, or 4 percent, since July 2011.
  • The number of male ECE teachers has doubled since 2003 to 438 in 2012.
  • On average, teachers had 27.9 contact hours per week.
  • Almost 12 percent of all non-qualified teaching staff were studying for an ECE teaching qualification that leads to New Zealand Teachers Council (NZTC) registration.
  • Māori was used as the language of communication for more than 80 percent of teaching contact time in 475 licensed services in 2012. This was similar to that for 2011.
  • Pasifika languages were used as the language of communication for more than 80 percent of teaching contact time in 50 licensed services. Samoan and Tongan were the most used Pasifika languages in ECE services.
  • Almost all education and care, kindergarten, and home-based services had internet access in 2012.


  1. Kōhanga reo data on enrolments in 20 Hours ECE is not available.

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