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New Zealand Childcare Survey 2009 (Revised 17 December 2010)
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  17 December 2010
Commentary

Introduction

This release presents the first results from the New Zealand Childcare Survey 2009 (CCS) which was run as a supplement to the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) in the September 2009 quarter. Parents of children aged 0–13 in the HLFS sample were asked to take part in the CCS. This survey provides information about the use of childcare in New Zealand, the use of government childcare subsidies, work arrangements used by parents, and whether any difficulties with childcare prevented parents from engaging in work or study.

The topics covered by the CCS and highlighted in this release are:

  • The use of early childhood education (ECE) and care arrangements.
  • The use of out-of-school services (OSS) and care arrangements.
  • The use of childcare-related government subsidies.
  • The use of school holiday programmes and care.
  • Work arrangements used by parents.
  • Childcare-related work difficulties and their consequences.
  • Childcare-related study difficulties and their consequences.

This release presents a selection of results from the survey. Please note that all percentages reported in this release have been calculated excluding 'not specified' responses.

Use of early childhood education and care for pre-school children

Of the estimated 308,800 pre-school children aged 0–6 years in the September 2009 quarter, 53.9 percent attended at least one type of formal ECE and care in the week prior to interview, while 44.1 percent attended at least one type of informal care.

Use of formal ECE and care increased with the age of the child. Only 12.9 percent of children under 1-year-old were attending formal care. This compares with 45.6 percent of those aged 1 year, 52.7 percent of those aged 2 years, 73.3 percent of those aged 3 years, and 86.7 percent of those aged 4 years. Use of informal care was far less varied by age and ranged between 37.7 percent and 48.1 percent of children for each age.

By ethnic group, 61.7 percent of European-only children were attending at least one type of formal ECE and care arrangement. This compared with 58.0 percent of European / Māori children, 53.8 percent of Māori-only children, and 44.4 percent of Asian-only children. Pacific-only children were least likely to have used a formal ECE and care arrangement – 29.9 percent. Informal care arrangements were most common for Māori-only children (53.9 percent) and Pacific-only children (52.6 percent).

Formal care options were more common than informal care arrangements for pre-school children. ‘Other’ childcare centres are licensed and/or chartered early childhood centres that offer all day or sessional services for children from birth to school age. They include creches, private kindergartens, and childcare centres. ‘Other’ childcare centres were the most common type of formal care used, with 25.4 percent of pre-school children attending this type of care in the reference week. Additionally, 15.2 percent of children attended public kindergarten, 6.7 percent attended playcentre, 6.6 percent attended playgroups, 4.3 percent attended organised home-based care, and 2.4 percent attended a kōhanga reo. Of those children who attended formal ECE and care, 11.6 percent attended more than one type.

Care by a grandparent was the most common type of informal ECE care, with 31.3 percent of pre-school children using this type of care. In addition, 11.8 percent were cared for by a family member other than a parent or grandparent, 5.7 percent were cared for by a friend or neighbour, and 4.9 percent received care from another parent living elsewhere.

 Graph, Children attending early childhood education and care, by type of care.

The types of ECE and care used differ by age and ethnicity of the child. The most common arrangements for children aged 2 years and under was care by a grandparent (32.5 percent), followed by 'other' childcare centres (18.1 percent). For pre-schoolers aged 3 to 6 years the most common arrangements were ‘other’ childcare centres (37.1 percent), followed by public kindergartens (34.6 percent), and grandparents (29.3 percent). The most common formal childcare arrangement for Māori-only children was kōhanga reo (20.4 percent). Care by a family member other than the parents or grandparents was most common for Māori-only children (34.6 percent) and Pacific-only children (23.8 percent).

Formal ECE and care arrangement use was most common for children in two-parent families where both parents were employed (66.4 percent) and for children in one-parent families where that parent was employed (60.6 percent). Just under half of all children in other two-parent families were attending at least one formal ECE and care arrangement, while 35.4 percent of children in one-parent families where that parent was not employed attended at least one type of formal ECE and care arrangement.

 Graph, Children attending formal early childhood education and care, by parental labour force status.

The most common type of formal ECE and care arrangement used by most family types was ‘other’ childcare centres. The exception to this was for children of non-employed sole parents where public kindergarten was the most common type. Children in one-parent families where the parent was employed were more likely than children in other family types to be using a combination of formal and informal care arrangements – 48.1 percent compared with 21.8 percent.

Formal ECE and care arrangements used differed by parental income as well. In families earning $20,000 or less, 39.6 percent of children were in formal childcare. In families with a combined parental income over $70,000, 68.6 percent of children were in formal childcare.

Hours of care used by pre-school children

The median length of time spent in ECE and care (for those who attended) was 18 hours per week. For formal ECE and care the median length of time was 17 hours per week and for informal care it was nine hours per week. Kōhanga reo had the highest median weekly length of time, at 30 hours per week. By type of informal care, care provided by another parent living elsewhere had the highest median length of time, at 24 hours per week.

 Graph, Median weekly hours spent in early childhood education and care, by type of care.

Over a quarter (29.2 percent) of children who attended formal ECE and care, were there for 10 hours or less per week. A further 37.2 percent attended for between 10 and 20 hours per week, and 33.5 percent for more than 20 hours per week.

Over half (52.4 percent) of children using informal care were there for 10 hours or less per week.

Cost of ECE and care for pre-school children

There was no cost to the parents of 29.5 percent of the children attending formal ECE and care. The cost for a further 25.1 percent of children was $20 or less per week, for 12.7 percent of children the cost was between $21 and $50 per week, and the cost for 15.0 percent of children was $51 to $100 per week. Formal ECE and care cost over $101 per week for 17.7 percent of children who attended.

 Graph, Children attending formal early childhood education and care, by weekly cost to parent.

There was no cost associated with the informal arrangements used by the majority (90.4 percent) of children attending them. The cost for 3.3 percent of the children attending informal care was between $21 and $50 per week, while the cost was more than $51 per week for 5.3 percent of children.

Reasons for not using formal ECE and care

Of the 142,300 pre-school children who were not using any formal ECE and care arrangements, the main reason given for not attending in 71.2 percent of cases was that the parent preferred to look after the child themselves or had no need to use care. The parents of a further 6.2 percent of children stated that they preferred to use family, friends, older children, or others known to them to provide care. Formal care being too expensive was the main reason why 4.9 percent of pre-school children were not attending formal ECE and care, while 4.8 percent were not in formal care due to a lack of available places, lack of availability locally, or lack of provision at times needed.

Use of out-of-school services and care

Of the estimated 520,900 children aged 5–13 years attending school in the September 2009 quarter, 8.8 percent attended at least one type of formal out-of-school service (OSS) and care, while 39.6 percent attended at least one type of informal care.

Formal OSS and care arrangements were more common for those aged 5–7 years (9.6 percent) and 8–10 years (10.9 percent) than they were for those aged 11–13 years (5.8 percent). This was also the case for informal arrangements, with 41.6 percent of 5–7-year-olds and 41.2 percent of 8–10-year-olds attending informal care, compared with 35.9 percent of children aged 11–13 years.

The most common type of formal OSS and care used was after-school care programmes, with 7.1 percent of school-aged children using this type of care. A further 1.5 percent attended a study support or homework centre and 1.0 percent attended a before-school care programme.

Informal care options for school-aged children were more common than formal care arrangements. Care by a grandparent was the most common type of informal care used, with 18.2 percent of school-aged children being cared for by a grandparent in the reference week. A further 12.4 percent received care from a family member other than the parents or grandparents, 7.7 percent were cared for by a neighbour or friend, and 7.2 percent received care from another parent who lived elsewhere.

 Graph, Children attending out-of-school services and care, by type of care.

Children from one-parent families where that parent was employed were more likely to attend both formal and informal OSS and care than children in other families. Just over one-fifth (21.5 percent) of children in this family type were in formal OSS and care and 62.9 percent had informal care arrangements. Children in these families were also more likely to use a combination of formal and informal arrangements (13.1 percent) compared with children in other family types (2.8 percent).

Hours of care

The median length of time spent in OSS and care (for those who attended) was nine hours per week. Care provided by a parent living elsewhere had the highest median length of time, at 36 hours per week. By type of formal OSS and care, after-school care programmes had the highest median length of time, at five hours per week.

 Graph, Median weekly hours spent in out-of-school services and care by type of care.

Of children who attended OSS and care, those aged 5–7 years spent the most time in care per week. These children spent a median of five hours per week in formal care and 10.0 hours in informal care.

Over half (54.4 percent) of children who attended formal OSS and care were there for five hours or less per week. A further 27.3 percent attended formal OSS and care for between five and 10 hours per week, and 18.3 percent attended for more than 10 hours per week.

Children in informal care arrangements were likely to spend more time per week in those arrangements. As with formal OSS and care, a large proportion (40.3 percent) spent five hours or less in informal care; however, 43.7 percent spent more than 10 hours per week in informal care, with 14.0 percent spending more than 40 hours per week.

Cost of care

There was no weekly cost to the parents for 26.4 percent of the children who attended formal OSS and care. The cost for a further 23.0 percent of children was less than $20, for 32.4 percent the cost was between $21 and $50, and the cost for the remaining 18.2 percent was $51 or more. There was no weekly cost paid by the parent for the majority of the school-aged children attending informal care (89.1 percent).

 Graph, Children attending out-of-school services and care, by weekly cost to parent.

Reasons for not using formal OSS and care

Of the 474,900 school-aged children who were not using any formal OSS and care arrangements, the main reason given for not using formal arrangements in 77.9 percent of cases was that the parent preferred to look after the child themselves or had no need to use care. The parents of a further 8.0 percent of children stated that they preferred to use family, friends, older children, or others known to them to provide care. Formal care being too expensive was the main reason why 4.4 percent of school-aged children were not attending formal care, while 3.0 percent were not in formal care due to a lack of available places, lack of availability locally, or lack of provision at times needed.

Children living in rural areas were more likely than those in urban areas to not be attending formal OSS and care due to a lack of available places, lack of availability, or lack of provision at times needed (10.2 percent compared with 1.7 percent).

Those on lower incomes were more likely to cite the cost of formal care as a reason for not using it – 10.3 percent of children whose parents income was $20,000 or less compared with 4.0 percent for those children whose parents earned more than $20,000 annually. Children in one-parent families where the parent was not employed were also more likely than children in other families to not be using formal care due to cost (8.7 percent).

Government subsidy use 

20 Hours ECE use

The Ministry of Education administers '20 Hours ECE' to help reduce cost barriers to early childhood education (ECE). A child must be aged 3–5 years and using formal childcare to be eligible. The subsidy is available for up to six hours a day, to a maximum of 20 hours per week.

20 Hours ECE was used for 80.9 percent of the children aged 3–5 who were using formal ECE arrangements. It was used by the majority (87.9 percent) of the children attending an organised home-based childcare arrangement, ‘other’ childcare centres (87.4 percent), and by those attending public kindergartens (84.2 percent).

20 Hours ECE was not used for 19.1 percent of children aged 3–5 years who attended formal ECE. It was not available with the care providers of 28.3 percent of these children. Additionally, the parents of 27.6 percent of these children stated they had no need for 20 Hours ECE and the parents of 16.9 percent of the children did not know if they were eligible.

The median length of time spent in formal care for those who had accessed 20 Hours ECE was 18.0 hours per week. This compared with a median of 12.0 hours per week in formal care for those not accessing 20 Hours ECE.

Childcare subsidy recipients

Work and Income administers the childcare subsidy, which is a payment to help low-income families with the cost of pre-school care. The subsidy is paid directly to the provider and is only available for children who attend formal care for three or more hours per week.

Parents accessed the childcare subsidy for 25.8 percent of the children using formal ECE and care arrangements for three or more hours per week. The subsidy was accessed for 52.1 percent of children at kōhanga reo and for 31.7 percent of children who attended an ‘other’ childcare centre. Only 14.1 percent of children who attended kindergarten were receiving the childcare subsidy.

The childcare subsidy was not accessed for 74.2 percent of pre-school children who attended formal ECE and care for three or more hours per week. Of these children, 42.4 percent were not eligible. Additionally, 21.8 percent of these children’s parents stated that they had no need for the subsidy and the parents of 16.0 percent of the children did not know if they were eligible.

The median length of time spent attending formal care for those who had accessed the childcare subsidy was 22.0 hours per week. This compares with 17.0 hours for those children who were not accessing the subsidy.

OSCAR subsidy recipients

Work and Income administers the out-of-school care and recreation (OSCAR) subsidy, which is a payment to help low-income families with the costs of approved before- and after-school programmes, and school holiday programmes.

Parents accessed the OSCAR subsidy for 21.4 percent of the children using formal OSS and care arrangements. The subsidy was accessed for 26.1 percent of children at after-school programmes.

The OSCAR subsidy was not accessed for 78.6 percent of children in formal OSS and care. Just over one-third (34.4 percent) of these children were not eligible. The parents of 22.9 percent of children did not know about the subsidy, the parents of 16.9 percent did not know if they were eligible, and parents of a further 13.7 percent stated they did not need the subsidy.

The median length of time spent in formal OSS and care for those who had accessed the OSCAR subsidy was 10.0 hours per week. This compared with a median of four hours per week for those in formal OSS and care arrangements but not accessing the subsidy.

School holiday services and care use for school-aged children

During the last school holidays, 43.2 percent of school-aged children used at least one type of formal or informal care. The most common type of school holiday care used was care by a grandparent, with 19.5 percent of children having this type of care. In addition, 11.5 percent were looked after by a family member other than their parents or grandparents and 8.8 percent attended a formal school holiday programme.

 Graph, Children attending school holiday care, by type of care.

School holiday care was slightly more common for children aged 8–10 years, with 44.9 percent attending at least one type of care, compared with 43.2 percent of 5–7-year-olds and 41.3 percent of 11–13-year-olds.

By ethnic group, children who belonged to the Māori-only and Pacific-only ethnic groups were more likely to have used family other than parents or grandparents to provide care during the school holidays – 20.8 percent for Māori-only and 17.6 percent for Pacific-only, compared with 9.8 percent of other children. Children who were European / Māori were more likely than other children to have been cared for by a parent living elsewhere – 11.1 percent compared with 5.7 percent of other children. Māori-only children had the lowest proportion receiving school holiday care from a grandparent – 11.5 percent, compared with 20.4 percent of other children.

There was no weekly cost associated with school holiday care for 76.8 percent of the children who used it. This was due to the high use of informal care options. By comparison, the weekly cost for those attending formal school holiday programmes was zero for only 15.5 percent of children attending, and cost $101 or more for 32.2 percent of children.

As with non-school holiday OSS and care, children from one-parent families where the parent was employed were more likely to have used at least one type of school holiday care – 64.1 percent compared with 40.3 percent of other children. Care by a parent living elsewhere was also more common for children in these families – 23.4 percent of children compared with 4.0 percent in other family types.

Just under one-third of children (29.0 percent) who used school holiday care attended for more than 50 hours per week. Again this was due to the high incidence of informal school holiday care use. For children who attended formal school holiday programmes, only 3.3 percent attended for more than 50 hours while 52.2 percent attended for 20 hours or less.

Work arrangements

Parents who were employed in the week prior to interview were asked if they had used any of seven specified types of work arrangement in the previous week. Work arrangements asked about were: working less than 30 hours (part-time work); work from another location (such as home); working for three hours or more on the weekend; work in the evenings; working shifts; working in a job-share arrangement; and working flexible hours. They were not asked at that point whether they had used the arrangement for childcare purposes, for other reasons, or if the work arrangement was a normal feature of their job.

In a second question, employed parents were asked if they had used any of five specified work arrangements specifically to help care for their child or children. The five arrangements asked about were: use of paid leave; use of unpaid leave; having a child at work with them; use of an employer provided childcare centre; and employer assistance with the cost of childcare.

Work arrangements used last week

The most common work arrangement used in the previous week was to work flexible hours; 32.0 percent of all employed parents stated they had done this. For employed mothers, the most common work arrangement was to work part time (less than 30 hours in the previous week) with 49.8 percent having done this. Other common work arrangements used by employed mothers were working flexible hours (34.4 percent), evening work (25.6 percent), and weekend work (24.8 percent). The most common arrangements used by employed fathers were evening work (30.8 percent), weekend work (30.6 percent), and flexible hours (30.0 percent).

 Graph, Work arrangements used last week, by sex of parent.

Sole parents were more likely to have worked part time last week than parents in two-parent families – 40.2 percent compared with 27.3 percent. Sole parents were less likely than those in two-parent families to have worked from another location – 13.9 percent compared with 22.0 percent. Sole-parent mothers were more likely than mothers in two-parent families to have worked on the weekend, while sole-parent fathers were less likely than fathers in two-parent families to have worked on the weekend.

Part time work was less common for employed mothers whose youngest child was aged 5–13 years – 47.0 percent compared with 54.0 percent of those with a youngest child aged 0–4 years. Working flexible hours was more common for mothers with a youngest child aged 3–4 years – 39.8 percent compared with 30.5 percent of mothers with a youngest child aged 0–2 years, and 34.8 percent with a youngest child aged 5–13 years.

By ethnic group, those who identified as European-only were more likely than other ethnic groups to have worked from another location (26.1 percent), worked in the evenings (30.3 percent), and worked flexible hours (34.7 percent). Those who identified as Pacific-only were more likely to have worked shifts in the previous week – 20.8 percent compared with 10.4 percent of employed parents in other ethnic groups.

For employed parents who usually work 45 hours or more per week, work in the weekend (47.1 percent) and work in the evenings (46.8 percent) were more common than for other employed parents. Working flexible hours was most common for those who usually work 29 hours or less – 39.8 percent compared with 29.5 percent of other employed parents.

Work arrangements used last week to care for a child

Employed parents were asked if they had used any of five specified work arrangements in the previous week to help look after their child or children. Of the estimated 629,000 employed parents in the survey, 17.0 percent had used at least one of these work arrangements in the previous week. More mothers had used an arrangement to help with care than fathers – 22.6 percent compared with 12.3 percent.

 Graph, Work arrangements used last week to care for child, by sex of parent.

Mothers were more likely than fathers to have used each type of work arrangement in the previous week to help look after a child. The most common arrangement used by both mothers and fathers was to have a child at work with them – 14.2 percent of employed mothers and 6.4 percent of employed fathers had done this.

Employed mothers whose youngest child was aged 0–2 years were more likely than other employed mothers to have used at least one of the work arrangements in the previous week – 28.2 percent compared with 20.6 percent of other employed mothers. They were also more likely to have used unpaid leave to care for a child than other employed mothers – 6.7 percent compared with 2.5 percent.

Employed parents who usually work 29 hours or less per week were most likely to have had their child at work with them – 15.0 percent compared with 8.5 percent of other employed parents. Those who usually worked 40–44 hours per week were least likely to have used any of the arrangements to help look after their child – 14.8 percent compared with 18.3 percent of other parents.

By occupation group, managers were more likely than other employed parents to have had their child at work with them – 16.8 percent compared with 8.6 percent of employed parents in other occupation groups. Employed parents who were self-employed were more likely than those who were employees to have had their child at work with them in the previous week – 24.9 percent compared with 7.0 percent.

Use of an employer-provided childcare centre, or receiving employer assistance with the costs of childcare, was most common for those employed in the professionals occupation group – 2.9 percent compared with 0.5 percent of employed parents in other occupation groups.

Work difficulties and consequences

Work difficulties

All parents who worked in the last 12 months or wanted to work in the last 12 months were asked whether they had experienced any difficulties getting childcare while working or wanting to work. These parents were also asked about any consequences they may have experienced as a result of those difficulties.

 Graph, Parents working/wanting work who experienced childcare difficulties.

Of the estimated 724,500 parents who worked or wanted to work in the 12 months to the September 2009 quarter, 14.5 percent experienced difficulties getting childcare. Over one-fifth (22.1 percent) of mothers experienced difficulties compared with 7.2 percent of fathers. The most common difficulties cited were a lack of available care on the days or at the times needed (29.2 percent of these parents) and that care was too expensive (23.7 percent).

Sole parents were more likely to have experienced difficulties while working or wanting to work than those in two-parent families – 26.4 percent compared with 13.0 percent. When asked about the main difficulty, 25.3 percent of sole parents stated that care was too expensive and 24.8 percent said care was not available on the days or at the times needed.

Just over one-fifth (20.6 percent) of mothers in two-parent families experienced difficulties getting childcare while working or wanting to work. Just under one-quarter (24.4 percent) of these mothers reported that the main difficulty was that care was not available on the days or at the times needed, while 19.6 percent stated that care was too expensive.

Parents whose youngest child was aged 3–4 years were most likely to have experienced difficulties (18.6 percent). This was especially the case for sole parents – 33.9 percent had difficulties. Just over one-fifth (22.4 percent) of all parents with a youngest child aged 3–4 years said that the main difficulty they had was that childcare was too expensive. A further 21.1 percent stated that care was not available on the days or at the times needed, and 18.4 percent reported that a lack of available places was the main difficulty experienced.

Work consequences

Of the parents who experienced difficulties getting childcare while working or wanting to work, 70.5 percent experienced at least one work-related consequence due to those difficulties. Mothers were more likely (74.1 percent) than fathers (60.0 percent) to report consequences as a result of childcare difficulties.

Almost half (48.7 percent) of those who had childcare-related difficulties had made changes to their usual work as a result. Another 28.9 percent turned down paid work, 23.7 percent stopped searching for paid work, and 20.9 percent were prevented from making changes to their usual work. An estimated 6.4 percent of these parents resigned from paid work as a result of childcare difficulties.

 Graph, Work consequences experienced as a result of childcare difficulties, by family type.

Of sole parents who had experienced difficulties while working or wanting to work in the last 12 months, 77.6 percent had at least one work-related consequence. Of sole parents who had experienced difficulties, 43.2 percent stopped searching for paid work, 40.8 percent made changes to their usual work as a result, and 35.7 percent turned down paid work. Sole parents were more likely than those in a two-parent family to have resigned from paid work due to difficulties with childcare – 11.1 percent compared with 5.1 percent.

Nearly three-quarters (72.7 percent) of mothers in two-parent families who had difficulties getting childcare while working or wanting to work had experienced at least one work-related consequence. Of these mothers, 51.2 percent had to make changes to their usual work, 30.3 percent turned down paid work, 22.8 percent were prevented from making changes to their usual work, and 22.1 percent stopped searching for paid work.

Of parents who had difficulties while working or wanting to work, consequences were experienced by 84.5 percent of parents who had three or more children, compared with 70.3 percent of those with one child and 64.2 percent of those with two children. Of parents whose youngest child was aged 3–4 years, 78.8 percent experienced at least one work-related consequence due to difficulties with childcare, compared with 74.5 percent of those whose youngest child was 0–2 years, and 64.8 percent of those whose youngest child was 5–13 years.

Parents who had received the domestic purposes benefit in the week prior to interview were more likely to have experienced work consequences related to childcare difficulties – 83.0 percent. These parents were also more likely than other parents to report having to stop the search for paid work due to childcare difficulties – 63.2 percent compared with 23.7 percent of all parents.

Study difficulties and consequences

All parents were asked whether they had done any study or training towards a formal qualification in the 12 months before the interview, whether they had experienced any difficulties getting childcare while studying, and what those difficulties were (where applicable). These parents were also asked about any consequences experienced as a result of those difficulties. Parents who hadn’t studied or trained towards a formal qualification were asked if difficulties getting childcare had prevented them from taking on study or training, and what those difficulties were (where applicable).

Parents engaged in formal study or training

Of the 857,300 parents in the September 2009 quarter, 8.9 percent had studied towards a formal qualification in the previous 12 months. Of those who had studied or trained, 13.7 percent had difficulties getting childcare. More mothers than fathers had studied or trained towards a formal qualification in the previous 12 months – 10.6 percent compared with 6.9 percent. A higher proportion of studying mothers reported having difficulties (18.2 percent) than fathers (5.2 percent).

 Graph, Parents in formal study and their experiences of childcare-related difficulties.

Sole parents were more likely than those in two-parent families to have studied or trained in the previous 12 months – 16.0 percent compared with 7.8 percent. Sole parents who were studying were also more likely to have childcare difficulties while studying – 25.7 percent compared with 9.8 percent of those in two-parent families.

Parents whose youngest child was aged 3–4 years were more likely to have experienced difficulties while studying – 23.3 percent compared with 14.3 percent of those with a youngest child aged 0–2 years, and 9.5 percent of those with a youngest child aged 5–13 years.

The most common difficulty reported was a lack of care available on the days or at the times needed, 39.1 percent reported this difficulty. The other difficulties commonly reported were the cost of childcare (19.9 percent) and a lack of informal care available by someone known to them (17.9 percent).

Of those who had difficulties getting childcare while studying or training towards a formal qualification, 76.4 percent experienced at least one study-related consequence. Over half (58.5 percent) of those who had childcare-related difficulties had stopped taking on study or training at some stage as a consequence, 57.1 percent had been prevented from changing the hours they regularly studied or trained, and 34.1 percent had quit a study or training course due to childcare-related difficulties. Parents who had a youngest child aged 0–2 years were most likely to have quit a study or training course due to childcare difficulties –45.1 percent compared with 27.2 percent of other parents.

Parents not engaged in formal study or training

Of parents who had not studied towards a formal qualification in the previous 12 months, 4.3 percent stated that difficulty getting childcare had stopped them from taking on study or training. This was the case for 6.7 percent of mothers and only 1.5 percent of fathers.

Younger parents were more likely to have not taken on study or training due to childcare difficulties, with 7.9 percent of those aged 15–24 having not taken on study due to difficulties compared with 4.8 percent of 25–34-year-olds, and 3.9 percent of those aged 35–54 years.

Sole parents were more likely than those in a two-parent family to report not taking on study due to difficulties with childcare – 11.5 percent compared with 3.3 percent. Sole parents who were not employed were the most likely to have not taken on study due to difficulties with childcare (14.6 percent).

Of those who said that they had not taken on study due to difficulties with childcare, 37.6 percent stated the cost of childcare as a reason. In addition, 24.7 percent stated childcare was unavailable on the days or at the times needed, and 19.9 percent said a lack of informal care by someone known was a barrier to taking on study.

 

For technical information contact:
Sophie Flynn or Will Bell
Wellington 04 931 4600
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

 

 

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