|News for Early Childhood Education|
The Ministry of Education has added new statistics on ECE to the Education Counts website. These include the latest results from the 2011 Census of ECE Services, including 2011 information on teachers and enrolments. The way the statistics are presented has been revamped and the range of tables has been significantly extended – with more topics covered, and with generally a greater level of detail in each table.
Here is a snapshot of some of the statistics. For more and discussion of key changes that have happened over the past year and three years go to the full article by clicking here.
Enrolments. Not unexpectedly, the number of enrolments in licenced ECE services has continued to increase and was 194,101 in 2011, an increase of 2.7% from 2010. This increase of 2.7% may reflect either that more children are being enrolled in multiple services (e.g. home-based care for some of the time and kindergarten for some of the time) and/or an increase in the actual number of children being enrolled in ECE. The number of enrolments is not the same as the actual number of children in total attending any early childhood service and the number of children in total in ECE is not known. Across all age groups enrolments in licensed ECE services have continued to increase. The percentage increase in enrolments for children 1 year and under 1 year is not dissimilar to that for 2, 3, and 4 year-old age groups. A change that does stand out is a large 30% increase in 5 year old enrolments between 2007 and 2011; however when the actual number of 5 year old enrolments is looked at the number is shown to be small at 1,994 compared to for example, the actual number of 4 year old enrolments at 61,819 or under 1 year old enrolments at 8,779.
ECE Attendance Prior to Starting Primary Education. As part of enrolling a child at a primary school, families are asked to complete a pupil enrolment form which includes questions on the child’s ECE attendance. As a measure of population participation this is viewed by the Ministry of Education as providing a more accurate picture of child participation in ECE than the number of enrolments in ECE as children can be enrolled in multiple ECE services. The prior ECE participation rate has been gradually increasing over the years, reaching its highest level yet of 94.7% of Year 1 primary school students in 2011. When interpreting this number note that children whose families did not complete the written questions about ECE on the school pupil enrolment form were not included in the calculations. Hence, the data on prior ECE participation relates only to children whose families gave a written response of yes or no to their child having attended an ECE service. Also, the prior ECE participation rate statistic does not differentiate between attendance that might be for only a few hours a day as opposed to say a 40 hour week or perhaps for just a few weeks or months as opposed to several years of ECE attendance. (Note that primary schools are asked by the Ministry of Education to collect this further information).
Hours of Attendance, read more by clicking here.
Length of Waiting List Time. The data on waiting times has been separately discussed in another article. Click here to go it.
Special Needs and Gifted Children. Data on the number of children with special needs and children identified as being gifted or talented is not collected annually from early childhood services by the Ministry of Education.
Child Gender, read more by clicking here.
Child Ethnicity, read more by clicking here.
Choice of All-day and Sessional Options. Parents now have less choice in whether to take their child to a sessional ECE service or to an all-day facility. The number of all-day services has increased by 53% since 2007. All-day services now form 85% of all licensed services. The very quick drop in the sessional option appears to be linked to the timing of the introduction of the 20 Hours ECE funding policy and this may be because it became more financially worthwhile for exiting services to shift to all-day provision than to remain as sessional services. The growth of all-day provision may be due not so much to parent demand as may be thought, since while this trend toward all-day provision showed from the end of 2007, it gained momentum over a period of economic recession and job losses in NZ.
Choice of Days, read more by clicking here
Changes in the Number of Different ECE Service Types. The number of childcare centres increased by 110 from 2,419 to 2,529 between 2010 and 2011. Kindergartens grew by 1, home-based agencies grew by 7, playcentre reduced by 2 centres, and the number of kohanga reo remained unchanged. The number of playgroups dropped by 12 from 831 to 819 between 2010 and 2011. This may indicate the beginning of a reversal in the growth of playgroups. Between 2007 and 2010 the number of playgroups increased from 729 to 831. Possibly then government policy via the Increasing Participation programme run by the Ministry of Education may be shifting away from playgroups as a step to encouraging parental interest in their child’s early education – the 2012 data will show more clearly if there is a trend toward fewer playgroups or not.
Changes in the Enrolment Capacity of ECE Services, read more clicking here.
Staff-Child Ratios. Early childhood services are not surveyed on staff-child ratios by the Ministry of Education.
Class size (also known as group size). Early childhood services are not surveyed on class size by the Ministry of Education.
Staff Turnover and Staff Stability, read more by clicking here.
Number of Qualified Staff in Teacher-Led Services. Community-based ECE services were more likely than private ECE services to have qualified staff in 2011. The proportion of unqualified staff in community based services was 25% compared to private ECE services with 35% unqualified staff. Read more by clicking here.
Number of Registered Teachers in Teacher-Led Services. Seventy-one percent of teachers in teacher-led services were registered in 2011 (up from 61% in 2007). Childcare centre teachers, however, lagged behind in registration status with just 66% being registered. Registered teachers are defined by the Ministry of Education as those who hold an NZTC practising certificate which is either provisional, subject to confirmation or with full registration status and they include primary and secondary registered teachers whether they hold an ECE qualification or not.
Number of Staff in Training. The number of non-qualified staff in training (i.e. studying for an ECE recognised qualification) has steadily increased over recent years. Last year, however, the total number of unqualified staff at childcare centres who were in study for a recognised qualification decreased by 11%; whereas more than double the number of unqualified staff at kindergartens were involved in study leading to a recognised ECE qualification.
Staff Gender. There was no significant increase in the proportion of male to female teachers in teacher-led services between 2010 and 2011 (the percentage of male teachers increased from 1.75% to 1.83%). While the percentage of male teachers has grown over the past decade from 1.1% in 2001 to 1.8% in 2011, the proportion of males represented in ECE teaching has declined over the past two decades from a high of 2.3% in 1992 (this calculation excludes teachers in hospital based ECE services as data on teacher gender on this service was not available prior to 2010).
Staff Ethnicity. Ministry of Education statistics code the ethnicity of the teacher to one of five groups: European, Māori, Pasifika, Asian, Other/ Unknown. Multiple ethnicities are not accounted for in the statistics. In 2011 70% of staff were European, 9% Māori, 8% Pasifika, 9% Asian, and 3% Other or Unknown. The largest increases for staff by ethnic group were for Asian (12.5% difference) and Māori (14% difference) between 2010 and 2011.
The Cost, Affordability and Benefits of ECE
The Effectiveness of Early Childhood Education. Read more by clicking here.
Public Spending on Early Education. Read more by clicking here.
Early Education Costs to Families. Read more by clicking here.
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