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February 3, 2009

High Rates of Childcare Uptake in NZ

New Zealand has internationally high rates of children attending childcare or pre-school education facilities. According to a new UNICEF report card from the Innocenti Research Centre 32% of 0-3 year old New Zealand children are enrolled in childcare, compared to an OECD average of 24%. For 3-6 year olds the rate is 92% (OECD average: 63%).

No relationship is evident between the proportion of 0-3 year olds enrolled in childcare and the employment rates of mothers of 0-3 year olds (fathers’ employment rates were not considered). Despite high childcare uptake, New Zealand has fairly low rates of employment of women with dependent children under 3 (45%).

The report also compared parental leave entitlements between OECD countries. New Zealand’s provision came third-to-last, before only Australia and the US, both of which have no paid parental leave provisions at all.

Father & Child News