A Counties Manukau Health paper published in the New Zealand International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal shows how a quality improvement collaborative increased enrolment and attendance rates at seven early childhood education (ECE) centres in South Auckland.
The paper, ‘Increasing early childhood enrolment and attendance rates in South Auckland, New Zealand’, is by Jilly Tyler and Monique Davies of Ko Awatea, Counties Manukau Health, and Brandon Bennett of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
It describes the Early Learning project led by Counties Manukau Health and the Ministry of Education to improve enrolment and attendance rates in ECE centres in Clendon and Manurewa, two of the most socio-economically vulnerable areas of Auckland.
Project lead Jilly Tyler said participation in good quality ECE is linked to improved cognitive and social outcomes at school and the development of characteristics that support educational success, such as confidence, independence, perseverance and social competence.
Proportionately more children starting school without participating in ECE are from the most deprived areas of New Zealand, and these are the populations with the lowest levels of educational achievement, Ms Tyler said.
The Early Learning project increased the overall median enrolment rate at participating centres from 76.4 per cent to 88.9 per cent, and the overall median attendance rate from 44.9 per cent to 59.2 per cent.