This is the third report that uses the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal survey data to explore how the inability to access affordable childcare affects the long run labour market outcomes of mothers.

This report investigates how the use of and satisfaction with childcare differ for families with different characteristics.

  • More advantaged families are more likely to resolve their childcare issues, enabling their child to enter childcare.
  • There is no evidence that families with childcare access issues at 9 months that were resolved by 2 years are significantly less satisfied with their child’s care at 2 years than are families that did not report such issues. The Ministry for Women interpret this as positive, suggesting there is not a trade-off for a lesser quality of care.
  • The study found that nearly 90 percent of parents had a choice about the type of childcare they used, however, there were differences between ethnic groups, European parents are less likely to report lack of choice (9%) and Pacifika reported the greatest restrictions (17%).
  • European mothers were most satisfied with communication from their childcare service and Māori parents the least.
  • Europeans are more likely than Māori and Pasifika to use formal childcare, but tend to use fewer hours each week. This could suggest many Māori and Pasifika choose not to use regular childcare in situations where Europeans would. It may also speak to European mothers’ ability to negotiate flexible hours of work.

Read the other reports in this series: