March 01, 2018
More tamariki Maori in pre-school
The National Government's focus on increasing participation in the early childhood sector has paid off, with Statistics New Zealand reporting a big increase over the past eight years in the number of Maori and Pacific preschool children using formal childcare.
Last year two in three Maori preschool children attended some form of early childhood education – about the same level as European children.
That compares with 2009, when just one in two Maori children attended preschool.
Despite that, the number of children enrolled in kohanga reo, 6,600, is lower than in 2009.
Labour markets and household statistics senior manager Jason Attewell says the statistics were drawn from the Childcare in New Zealand Survey, which was a supplement to the September quarter Household Labour Force Survey.
Early childhood education ranges from teacher-led centres such as kindergartens and Kohanga Reo through to playgroups and home-based care.
Some 27 percent of Maori children accessed the Childcare Subsidy for low- to middle-income families compared to 15 percent of European preschool children.
In all 94 percent of European three and four year-old children in preschool claimed some of the 20 hours of free early childhood education, compared with 83 percent of Maori.
While a higher proportion of European children attended early childhood education, on average they spent 21 hours a week there compared with Maori and Asian children at 25 hours.
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