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

Get furniture, fittings and equipment

  1. You will need to consider what will be the appropriate learning and teaching equipment and resources for meeting the curriculum standards in the regulations, and for:

  • your philosophy
  • the range of children who will attend
  • your community
  • actively acknowledging the unique place of tangata whenua in the programme
  • meeting regulated standards.

Visit other ECE services and discuss with teachers the choices available for particular equipment.

  1. Make a list of equipment you plan to get. Many suppliers have catalogues and price lists available.

  1. Ensure that play equipment complies with New Zealand Safety Standards, for example the Supervised Early Childhood Facilities  – Playground Equipment and Surfacing Handbook (NZS 5828.2:2006).

  1. Order all indoor and outdoor equipment (including tables, beds, display units, etc). Allow enough time for delivery and set up so that your service will be ready for the Ministry of Education’s licensing visit. Please note that the centre must be 'ready for children' before the Ministry will visit the site. This includes outdoor playgrounds being ready for use.