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Half of pre-schoolers in formal early childhood education
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  17 December 2010

New Zealand Childcare Survey 2009 (revised 17 December 2010)  –  Media Release

Statistics New Zealand has revised the New Zealand Childcare Survey 2009, first released on 30 June 2010. All estimates previously produced have been subject to revision.

A snapshot of New Zealand’s childcare landscape has shown that over half of pre-schoolers attended formal early childhood education (ECE) and care, Statistics New Zealand said today. Results from the New Zealand Childcare Survey 2009 showed that informal care options were also common for pre-schoolers. In contrast, school-aged children were more likely to be receiving informal care than attending a formal care arrangement.

Grandparents were the most common providers of informal care for both pre-schoolers and school-aged children. “This confirms anecdotal evidence that grandparents are a popular choice for informal care,” labour market statistics manager Peter Gardiner said.

The survey also found that:

  • Pacific pre-schoolers were less likely to attend formal ECE and care than children in other ethnic groups (29.9 percent compared with 56.2 percent).
  • 80.9 percent of pre-schoolers aged 3–5 years attending formal ECE and care used '20 Hours ECE' – a government initiative that provides up to 20 hours of free formal care per week.
  • The parents of 25.8 percent of pre-schoolers at formal care for three or more hours per week accessed the Work and Income childcare subsidy.
  • The most common work-related arrangement used by employed parents to help care for a child was to have their child at work with them.
  • 14.5 percent of parents who had worked or wanted to work in the 12 months before the survey reported having childcare-related difficulties while working or wanting to work.

The New Zealand Childcare Survey 2009 was a sample survey of parents who had at least one child aged 13 years or under and was run as a supplement to the Household Labour Force Survey in the September 2009 quarter.  

 Cathryn Ashley-Jones 17 December 2010
 Acting Government Statistician

For media enquiries contact:
Peter Gardiner
Wellington 04 931 4600

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