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Participation in early learning


Regular attendance at high-quality early childhood education can contribute to higher levels of overall wellbeing. This indicator looks at the participation rate of 3-4 year olds in early childhood education.

Early childhood education provides education and care for children before they are old enough to go to primary school. The government funds up to 6 hours a day and 20 hours per week of fully subsidised early childhood education for all three, four and five-year olds (and heavily subsidises early childhood education and care for children aged under three years). Reducing the cost of early childhood education helps to ensure more children are able to access and benefit from participation in high-quality early learning.

Research shows that participation in high-quality early childhood education can positively impact on literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills well into the teenage years. High-quality early childhood education encourages the development of social, emotional, and cognitive skills which contribute to higher levels of overall wellbeing.

Quality early learning helps children to be confident and curious about the world and learn important skills that will help them become strong, happy, and successful in later life. These benefits apply to all children, but have been shown to have an even greater positive influence on children from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

This indicator relates to the 'learning and developing' outcome.

How will we measure this?

  • This indicator uses administrative data drawn from the Ministry of Education's Early Learning Information (ELI) system and population projections from Statistics New Zealand.
  • This indicator will be updated annually in September.

For more information

Last updated: 
Thursday, 23 July 2020