While the rate of childbirths in New Zealand is currently declining the numbers of children accessing early childhood education continues to increase on a yearly basis. This is largely due to the increase in the number of double income households and sole parenting.
The main finding of the 2001 Early Childhood statistics, conducted by the Ministry of Education, reported that from July 1990 to July 2001 the overall number of early childhood education institutions had grown by 46% and the overall number of enrolments has grown by almost 45%.
As ChildcareOnline provides information on both preschool and before/afterschool care options, the potential target audience of the site can be broadly defined as parents and caregivers of children aged between 0-14 years of age. This translates to a total of 755,000 parents according to the 1998 Childcare Survey.
A further breakdown of figures shows 13% [96,000] of this population to be single mothers, 2% [13,000] solo parent fathers and the remaining 85% mothers and fathers of two parent families. Sixty eight percent of these parents are employed [511,000 people].
The survey further indicated that 60% of pre school children (aged 0-4 years) attend some form of ECE and/or care arrangement. The expected use of ECE and care arrangements increases with the age of the child up to 5 years of age. Twenty percent of school aged children (5-13 years) access before or afterschool care services.
The Internet is fast becoming the best way to advertise as increasing numbers of New Zealanders begin accessing information online. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of Internet penetration of anywhere in the world. Over half of all homes in New Zealand have Internet access and the majority of businesses are connected. What' is more, New Zealanders spend more time online each moth that just about anywhere in the world. .
Current Internet usage in New Zealand indicates that 46.6% (2001 figures) of New Zealand homes now have Internet access an increase of 12% from 1998.
Furthermore, AC Nielsen statistics on personal use of the Internet shows that while 42% of New Zealanders had access to the Internet at the beginning of 1998 this figure increased to 72% by the end of 2001. This refers to access not only from the home but also from work, cyber cafes, schools and universities, libraries and so on (see figure 1.1 below).
The introduction of Internet access at shopping malls and fast food outlets now means that almost any New Zealander has the potential access to the Internet and initiatives such as the Key4/Free programme encourage New Zealanders to learn the necessary skills to use the World Wide Web.
Further statistics indicate: (Statistics NZ)
1 This survey was New Zealand's first comprehensive national survey on early childhood education and care conducted by Statistics NZ, Department of Labour and the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women.