In an online survey of New Zealand’s early childhood education services, schools and kura in late 2021/early 2022, over 83% of respondents involve volunteers, with volunteers most important in primary schools, rural schools and early childhood centres, and Playcentres.
Parents and whānau are the mainstay of volunteers in education, with other volunteers including teachers and other school staff, local community members, external organisations, and students.
Volunteers have a positive impact on early childhood education services, schools and kura, and are essential to the running of facilities and services (e.g. through fundraising, governance, learning support, and trips). Community engagement and relationships through volunteering impact on students’ learning opportunities and extension programmes, and educators feel the loss of these relationships during Covid has caused disconnect with communities.