Starting a centre-based ECE service

This is a guide for service providers interested in establishing a licensed early childhood education (ECE) and care centre. Please make sure you read the whole document before taking further steps to establishing your ECE service.

Licensing Criteria Cover

Early childhood education and care regulations

Licensed early childhood education (ECE) and care centres are required to comply with the regulatory standards and criteria set out in the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 and Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008.

The guidance provided with each criterion is a starting point to show how services can meet the requirements.

A licensed early childhood education and care centre is eligible to receive government funding, and must comply with the Ministry of Education funding rules in order to do so.

The quality of the education and care provided by the service is also reviewed regularly by the Education Review Office.

Service providers can talk to their local Ministry of Education office to request the licensing assessment tool for centre-based ECE services or find out more about early childhood regulations and criteria.