Licensing criteria for centre-based ECE services

The Education Act 1989 S310 defines an early childhood education and care centre as premises used regularly for the education or care of 3 or more children (not being children of the persons providing the education or care, or children enrolled at a school being provided with education or care before or after school) under the age of 6—

  1. by the day or part of a day; but
  2. not for any continuous period of more than 7 days.

Centre-based ECE services have a variety of different operating structures, philosophies and affiliations, and are known by many different names – for example, Playcentres, early learning centres, Montessori, childcare centres, Kindergartens, crèches, preschools, a’oga amata, Rudolf Steiner etc.

These centres are licensed in accordance with the Education Act 1989 under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, which prescribe minimum standards that each licensed service must meet. Licensing criteria are used to assess how the centres meet the minimum standards required by the regulations.

For each criterion there is guidance to help centres meet the required standards.

The publication of the criteria on its own can be downloaded as a PDF [PDF, 719 KB] and printed. 

The licensing criteria were last updated in May 2016.

 

Licensing Criteria Cover

GMA1 Display of information

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Governance Management and Administration criterion 1

      The following are prominently displayed at the service for parents and visitors:

      • the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, and the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008;
      • the full names and qualifications of each person counting towards regulated qualification requirements;
      • the service's current licence certificate; and
      • a procedure people should follow if they wish to complain about non-compliance with the Regulations or criteria.

      Documentation required:

      A procedure people should follow if they wish to complain about non-compliance with the Regulations or criteria. The procedure includes the option to contact the local Ministry of Education office and provides contact details.

      Rationale/Intent:

      The criterion aims to ensure that parents are aware of key regulatory information relating to the service's operation (thus providing an additional level of accountability for the service), and are given the information they need if they wish to raise concerns and be involved in the service.

  • Guidance
    • Guidance

      Any examples in the guidance are provided as a starting point to show how services can meet (or exceed) the requirement. Services may choose to use other approaches better suited to their needs as long as they comply with the criteria.

      ECE Centres are required to clearly display the following documents so that they are easily available to be read by anyone at the centre. These could be displayed in an entryway or on a notice board so they are clearly visible and can be read by parents/whānau, caregivers or any other visitors.

      • the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, and
      • the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008;
      • the full names and qualifications of each person counting towards regulated qualification requirements;
      • the service's current licence certificate; and
      • a procedure people should follow if they wish to complain about non-compliance with the Regulations or criteria.

      The procedure for people with complaints about any instance of non-compliance must include the option for people to contact the local Ministry of Education office, with appropriate contact details.

      Good practice for any service provider is to have policies and procedures in place to deal with a range of complaints from a variety of sources. These may come from a parent, a member of the community or a staff member. They may be about a specific teaching practice, routine or policy, an event, a particular staff member, a member of the management team or board, or about the service in general.

      Complaints will vary from minor to major, and may escalate rapidly from one to the other unless they are well managed.

      For clarity, a simple summary notice about the complaints process could be displayed close to the licence. This summary notice would cover the key steps and people to contact, and include details of the local Ministry office.

      Further guidance on developing a complaints policy and process is available, which includes a suggested template for developing a complaints policy and procedure.

      Guidance for developing a Complaints Policy/process for an ECE Service

      Guidance for developing a Complaints Policy Process for an ECE Services [PDF, 73 KB]