Ministry of Education has provided the following guidance around the coverage of Early Childhood Education (ECE) data in IDI:

The table [moe_clean].[ece_duration] in IDI clean lists data from questions on the prior participation in early learning that is included in school enrolment forms. The guidelines for the wording of these questions and possible responses parents and whānau can select are shown on page 2 of the document linked on this page: The wording of the relevant question is: Did the child attend one or more Early Childhood Education service(s) in the six months prior to starting school? This is why there is no date range in this table – it is always relative to when the student enrolled in school.

The possible responses are shown as different codes in the following two variables in the table: moe_sed_ece_classification_code; moe_sed_ece_duration_code. To establish what codes refer to which responses, refer to the following three tables in IDI Metadata:

  • [IDI_Metadata].[clean_read_classifications].[moe_ececlassificationcode]
  • [IDI_Metadata].[clean_read_classifications].[moe_ecedurationcode]

The variable moe_sed_hours_nbr in this table lists the number of hours per week the parent/whānau member reported the student attended this particular service.

In the ECE context, “service” refers to a provider of early learning. This could be in a centre-based context (e.g. kindergarten) or a home-based context. Children can attend multiple early learning services (either one after the other or even attending multiple on the same day), and this is why the school enrolment question asks about the possibility for attending multiple services.

You should be aware that this information is self-reported by the parent/whānau member about activities over the previous six months, and is therefore susceptible to recall bias. Not all whānau may understand the distinction between different early learning providers or be able to identify which category the service(s) their child attended fall into.

Note that there is also administrative ECE attendance data in the IDI. This currently contains information up until 2020. In contrast to the whānau report questions above, this data is taken from the Early Learning Information (ELI) system, which is entered by ECE services and used as a basis for funding. Researchers can access this data at [IDI_Adhoc].[clean_read_MOE].[StudentAttendance_202104]. This is a very large table that combines data on school attendance with data on ECE attendance. To isolate just the ECE attendance data, researchers should add the following condition to their queries: “where ECEAttendanceCode is not null” [null values on this variable indicate school attendance data]. This table provides a row for every attendance instance, with a date, a start and end time, an early learning provider, a derived duration (in minutes) and whether the child was present or absent.

ELI has only been implemented since 2014, so this table does not show earlier records of ECE attendance. Although ELI is used by most ECE services, it does not yet have full coverage. In particular, it is not used by nga kōhanga reo or some playgroups.

This information was provided by email 3 May 2021.

Published with permission from Ministry of Education and Stats NZ.