Licensing criteria for kōhanga reo

Kōhanga reo run a total immersion te reo Māori whānau (family) programme for mokopuna (young children) from birth to six years of age to be raised within its whānau Māori, where the language of communication will be Māori.

The operation and decision making of each kōhanga reo are the responsibility of the whole whānau within the guidelines set down by Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board. The trust and the kōhanga reo whānau administer the kaupapa to ensure the safety and well-being of the mokopuna and the whānau and to ensure the survival of te reo Māori.

Kōhanga reo are currently chartered to Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust and licensed by the Ministry of Education under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008.

The Ministry does not provide guidance for the kōhanga reo licensing criteria. Guidance, however, is available upon request directly from Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust.

A copy of the criteria can be downloaded from the right hand column.

The licensing criteria were last updated in June 2018.

Licensing Criteria Cover

Parent involvement and information

  • GMA1: Display of information
    • 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.

  • GMA2: Parent access to information
    • Governance, management and administration criterion 2

      Parents are advised how to access:

      • information concerning their child;
      • the service's operational documents (such as its philosophy, policies, and procedures and any other documents that set out how day to day operations will be conducted); and
      • the most recent Education Review Office report regarding the service.

      Documentation required:


      Written information letting parents know how to access:

      • information concerning their child;
      • the service's operational documents; and
      • the most recent Education Review Office report regarding the service.
      Rationale/Intent:

      The criterion is underpinned by the belief that a level of collaboration between parents and adults providing education and care will result in positive outcomes for children. The criterion aims to ensure that parents are well informed about the service's operation and their child's education, and are made aware of the input they are able to have.

  • GMA3 Information provided to parents
    • Governance, management and administration criterion 3

      Information is provided to parents about:

      • how they can be involved in the service;
      • any fees charged by the service;
      • the amount and details of the expenditure of any Ministry of Education funding received by the service; and
      • any planned reviews and consultation.

      Documentation required:

      Written information letting parents know:

      • how they can be involved in the service;
      • any fees charged by the service;
      • the amount and details of the expenditure of any Ministry of Education funding received by the service; and
      • about any planned reviews and consultation.
      Rationale/Intent:

      The criterion is underpinned by the belief that a level of collaboration between parents and adults providing education and care will result in positive outcomes for children. The criterion aims to ensure that parents are well informed about the service's operation and their child's education, and are made aware of the input they are able to have.

  • GMA4: Parent involvement
    • Governance, management and administration criterion 4

      Parents of children attending the service and adults providing education and care are provided with opportunities to contribute to the development and review of the service's operational documents (such as philosophy, policies, and procedures and any other documents that set out how day to day operations will be conducted).

      Documentation required:

      Evidence of opportunities provided for parents and adults providing education and care to contribute to the development and review of the service's operational documents.