ChildForum Early Childhood Education Nationwide Network
Promoting quality, valuing knowledge, advancing thinking and working together for the benefit of children, services and the sector

Follow us on FacebookFollow us on Twitteryoutube

Member Login

Advice, resources, research (etc.) for members and subscribers


Kindergartens Change from Sessional Preschool to All-day Licences

By Dr Sarah Alexander
© 2008  updated in 2010

kindergarten children are engaged in flax weaving with teachers

Go to another article on this issue by clicking here.


In this article

  • The statistics
  • So what's the problem?
  • What's happened and further information
  • The characteristics of quality kindergaten
  • Public policy shifts affecting kindergarten
  • Is the kindergarten model really out of step with modern times as some claim?
  • Was the sessional model serving children poorly?
  • Discussion and your views


The Statistics

In 2009 Free Kindergartens provided a sessional preschool service to around 56% of children enrolled. This represents a considerable reduction from only a small number of years ago in 2007 when a sessional preschool service was provided to 97% of children enrolled.  It has declined even futher and nearly all kindergartens are licensed for and offer capacity to offer all-day care and education. 

In 2007, 1,215 children attended a Free Kindergarten for more than 4 hours a day (all-day care) and this jumped to 16,822 children in 2009.

In 2007, 39,362 children attended a Free Kindergarten for less than 4 hours (part-day sessions) and this number dropped to 21, 710 children in 2009.

In 2007, 3,118 children attended a Free Kindergarten that provided a mixture of full-day and part-day options and this number dropped to 814 children in 2009. 


So What's the Problem?

The Free Kindergarten supported by the State as an education service with teaching staff and managers employed under the State Sector Act was set up to prepare children for school by providing morning and afternoon sessions for all children in the year or two before starting school. However, today, when parents talk about their child attending kindy - it literallly means that kindy starts in the morning, goes over the lunch-hour and ends in the afternoon. 

What has been the cause of this massive and sudden decrease in the number of under 4 hour (part-day) places in kindergartens?  

The 20 Hour Free ECE policy in 2007 provided a lot of extra cash to kindergartens if children were enrolled for more than 4 hours a day and up to 6 hours a day.  Kindergarten associations were attracted to this - as would be expected. 

To keep reading and view the full article login with your member's username and password

Here’s how our membership plans work:

  • Individual Membership plans can view both Individual member-only articles and our library of Research Journals (but not the ECE Service management article area). In addition, individual members can discuss and ask questions of fellow members any time through the online childcare and early childhood education practice, policy, and research discussion forum.
  • Early Childhood Service plans can view ALL member articles: Individual, Research Journals and Early Childhood Service articles. Also on this membership plan members can access the online discussion forum for individual members AND the online ECE service management / business forum.
  • Research Journal subscription plans can view our library of Research Journals and related research articles only

Should you not hold a current membership –  you are welcome to apply now.

Free E-Newsletter

Receive the free Early Childhood Alert.


We hate spam as much as you, we will not sell your contact details to anyone.

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Read our Privacy Policy here.

Don’t miss out any longer, click the button below to join ChildForum

Most Hot Discussion Topics!

There are many great discussions happening here for both 'Individual' and 'Early Childhood Service' members. Please login to view them!



Not a member? See what you’re missing.

Click Here

Join Us!



Subscribe now for information you can trust, expert advice and research, as well as access to quality resources

We are confident you will be delighted to discover and experience the benefits of membership - so join now and make this message for non-members disappear from your screen. 

Membership Options


Who is this for?
This plan is for any person who works with children or has an interest in early childcare and early childhood education.

$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
$60.00 6 months student-only

Your own personal username and password.

ECE Service 

Who is this for?
Centres, home-based, hospital-based, playgroups ... licensed or new set-ups.

$198.00 12 months from the date of joining
Does your ECE group have more than 1 service? See our discounted rates

A shared username and password for your team or ECE group.

Library NZ-International Research
in ECE Journal Subscriber

Who is this for?
Universities, Polytechnics and organisations wishing to have access to all past and current NZIRECE published journal and its articles. Hundreds of research articles!

$125.00 annual renewable in November each year

A username and password for your library users linked to your IP address.