Annual ECE Census 2017: Fact Sheets

Publication Details

These fact sheets summarise the results from the June 2017 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: January 2018


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.

Key Findings


  • In 2017 there were 202,772 enrolments/attendances in licensed ECE services and kōhanga reo, a slight increase from 2016 (0.5%). Of these 50 percent identified as Pākehā/European, 23 percent identified as Māori, 15 percent identified as Asian, eight percent identified as Pasifika, and the remaining were either other or unknown.
  • The enrolment rate1 for children aged from birth to four years of age was 65.5% in 2017 (up 2.2 percentage points since 2015).
  • Since 2005, the proportion of enrolments/attendances at education and care services and homebased ECE services has increased by 14.2 and 3.2 percentage points respectively.
  • The average number of hours of attendance per week in 2017 was 20.7 similar to 2016 (20.5 hours).
  • Between the ages 0-4, children less than one year have the lowest average attendance (16.8 hours) and children 4 years old have the highest average attendance (21.7 hours).
  • There were 5,585 licensed or certificated ECE services and kōhanga reo as at June 2017 (up 0.9% from 2016). Of these, 4,658 were licensed services and kōhanga reo (up 49 from 2016) and 927 were certificated playgroups (no change from 2016).
  • Education and care services made up a majority of licensed services with 2,582 services (55.4%). There were 658 kindergartens (14.1%), 454 kōhanga reo (9.7%),509 home-based services (10.9%), and 422 playcentres (9.1%).
  • he number of education and care services have grown by 47.2% (828 services) and the number of home-based services has grown by 153.2% (308 services) since 2005.
  • Twenty-six percent of licensed services reported a wait time of more than one month, well down from the peak of 45.7% in 2008. However wait times at kindergartens remain relatively high with 38.8% reporting wait times of more than one month (down 2.7% from 2016).
Teaching Staff
  • In 2017 there were 30,674 teaching staff in total (including home-based coordinators). This is an increase of 3.9% or 1,165 teachers since 2016. Data from the past three years show that roughly 55% of all teachers are full-time (down from 70% in 2014).
  • In 2017, 68.6% of teachers were ECE-qualified and 66.7% were registered with the Education Council. These figures are down very slightly from 2016 by 0.9 and 1.3 percentage points respectively.
  • Male ECE teaching staff accounted for 2.6% (795 teachers) of all teaching staff in 2017, up from 2.3% in 2016. This is over twice as many male teachers as there were in 2011 (375 male ECE teachers).

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