Understanding staffing: results from the 2018 Early Childhood Education census

Publication Details

This report presents findings on early childhood education (ECE) teachers from the 2018 ECE census. It primarily focusses on teaching staff from teacher-led licensed services, including home-based coordinators. This report excludes non-teaching staff such as managers and support staff

Author(s): Ministry of Education.

Date Published: May 2018


This report is the first in a series of themed reports to be released from the 2018 early childhood education census. It follows on from the fact sheets released in December last year which provided a summary of key aspects of the early childhood education sector. An important point to note is that in this report the analysis of teachers excludes home-based educators, whereas in the staffing fact sheet released last year home-based educators were included.

Key Points

The 2018 annual ECE census provided the following key points about teaching staff in early childhood education:

  • Since 2014, the number of teachers has increased by 6,134 teachers, with the increase in part-time teachers accounting for most of this growth. The rate of growth appears to be slowing however, as evidenced by smaller percentage increases in the number of teachers year-on-year.
  • There is a slight decline in the proportion of qualified teachers (excluding home-based educators). In 2018, 68% of teachers were qualified, compared to 69% in 2017 and 70% in 2016. The rate of qualified teachers in kindergarten remains very high (91%) while around two-thirds of teachers in education and care services (64%) are qualified.
  • In 2018, the number of home-based coordinators increased by 9% compared to a 2% increase in the number of teachers at education and care services and kindergartens.
  • Kindergartens were more likely to have part-time teachers compared to other services. In 2018, the majority of kindergarten teachers (67%) were part-time compared to 43% for education and care services. Around 40% of home-based coordinators were part-time.
  • Proportionally, there were more full-time teachers in Auckland than anywhere else in the country. Of the ECE teachers in Auckland, 62% were full-time and 38% were part-time. For all other regions, the proportion of full-time staff ranged from 40% to 53%, while the proportion of part-time staff ranged from 47% to 60%..
  • There was on average one teacher for every six children at education and care services and kindergartens. In areas classified as lower deprivation there were typically more children per teacher compared to areas of higher deprivation.


  1. Teachers in this report means qualified and unqualified staff who have child contact time with children during Census week, and include home-based coordinators.
  2. 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 services, enrolment/attendance numbers, teachers, and the use of languages within ECE services. The 2018 ECE census week was June 18-24.
  3. Home-based coordinators are required to have an ECE teaching qualification and are therefore included as part of the teacher count. They are primarily responsible for overseeing the education and care, comfort, and health and safety of the children. They are also responsible for providing professional leadership and support to educators within the service.
  4. For more information about this release visit the Annual Early Childhood Education Census: 2018 Fact Sheets.
  5. In this report, qualified teachers are those with an ECE or Primary teaching qualification that enables certification by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa (formally the Education Council of New Zealand).

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