Access to Childcare

Childcare is an important tool for parents to engage with work and further education.

The research on this page uses the Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) longitudinal study of child development to investigate childcare access and affordability issues. The study asked mothers about difficulty access childcare when their child was nine months old, and again at two years.

This first report asks: Who has problems access childcare?

  • Childcare access issues affected 7.7 percent of the GUiNZ cohort at nine months and 7.5 percent at two years.
  • Māori and Pacific mothers were two or three times more likely to experience issues accessing childcare than European mothers.
  • Mothers cited a range of access issues, which implies that no one solution will address the problem. Cost was cited as a major factor, particularly for Pacific mothers.

More reports will follow and will investigate:

  • how persistent issues with access to childcare are (e.g. problems continue at next survey period);
  • if parents with prior access issues have different experiences with childcare once they secure it;
  • links between current access issues and mother's paid work outcomes; and
  • long-term labour market effects for mother with childcare access issues.