Increasing early childhood education enrolment and attendance rates

Full reference
Tyler, J., Davies, M. & Bennett, B. (2018). Increasing early childhood education enrolment and attendance rates in South Auckland, New Zealand. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 21(1), 100–111.

NZ Int Research ECE journal

Original Evaluation Paper

Increasing early childhood education enrolment and attendance rates in South Auckland, New Zealand

Jilly Tyler*, Monique Davies* and Brandon Bennett**
* Ko Awatea, Counties Manukau Health, Otahuhu NZ 
** Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, USA

Abstract

This paper reports on a project to increase enrolment and attendance rates at seven early childhood education (ECE) centres in socio-economically deprived areas of Auckland, New Zealand, between January and June 2014. Participating centres used Breakthrough Series collaborative methodology with the Model for Improvement (Langley et al., 2009) to develop and test change ideas according to local context. Enrolment and attendance data were collected weekly using a custom-designed spreadsheet which provided centres with individualised data and aggregated overall project data. Data were analysed using run charts. Overall median enrolment increased from 76.4% to 88.9%, and overall median attendance increased from 44.9% to 59.2%. The project showed that staff in ECE centres can use Breakthrough Series Collaborative methodology with the Model for Improvement to increase enrolment and attendance rates without extra government funding. The project also built the capability of ECE centre staff to effect improvement, reducing future need to procure external expertise to lead change. This approach to change can contribute to closing the gaps in ECE attendance among socio-economic and ethnic groups who typically have lower rates of participation.

Key words: Enrolment, attendance, improvement methodology, participation, socio-economic deprivation, ethnicity.

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