The number of qualified teachers your ECE service needs

For all teacher led centre-based services, at least 50% of the staff must have an early childhood education teaching qualification that is recognised by the Education Council.

For example

A childcare centre has 10 children aged under 2 and 30 children aged over 2. To meet the adult-to-child ratio, the centre must have 5 adults:

  • 10 children under 2 - 2 adults
  • 30 children over 2 - 3 adults

To meet the 50% requirement, the centre needs 3 teachers who hold an early childhood education teaching qualification (50% is 2.5 and is rounded up to 3).

The three teachers do not have to be full time.

Having a teaching qualification

These staff count as having a teaching qualification:

  • The person responsible for the early childhood education service.
  • Any staff member with a recognised early childhood education qualification.
  • One staff member in their final year of study for an early childhood education qualification.

To be a “person responsible” the staff member must hold a recognised qualification as well as have current teacher registration and a current practicing certificate.

Note that any qualified teachers who work in more than 2 early childhood education services can only nominate 2 services to count their position towards the 50% requirement.

Proof of the 50% requirement

Each early childhood education service must hold evidence that they are meeting the 50% requirement. This includes:

  • the qualification documents that show teachers are qualified
  • rosters that show when qualified teachers work
  • documents that show there is a working relationship, eg, employment agreements or letters of appointment
  • a completed Verification of Final Year of Study form if the person is in their final year of study: download the Verification of Final Year of Study form [DOCX, 49 KB] 
  • a completed early childhood education Qualified Teachers Attestation form if part-time teachers are employed and are working in 2 or more early childhood education services: download the Attestation form for part-time early childhood education teachers [DOCX, 48 KB]
  • if a staff member holds an overseas teaching qualification, NZQA will need to verify the qualification as part of the teacher’s application to the Education Council for registration. Their qualification must be assessed as 'comparable' to a New Zealand initial teacher education qualification to be counted for licensing and funding purposes, whether or not they are granted registration. 

Both the number of qualified staff and the adult-to-child ratio have to be kept at all times. This includes when the service takes children on an excursion or when adults go on lunch or other entitled breaks. To cover breaks, services may wish to employ additional staff, or bring in staff from non-contact time whilst other staff take their breaks.

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