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

Philosophy Statement

The statement of philosophy tells everyone who works or comes into your premises what is special about your service and what you want to achieve.

The 2008 regulations require you to develop and display a statement of philosophy. It needs to be easy to understand by everyone involved in your service and clearly displayed.

  • What would you put in a statement of philosophy?
    • Every statement of philosophy will be different but you might want to include:

      • why you set up the service
      • what you want to achieve day by day
      • what values are really important for your service and community.

      Here are some examples:

      • “Our educators will be well trained and have regular professional development.”
      • “At our service the values of our culture are taught.”
      • “Parents will be encouraged and given opportunities to share in the life of the service.”
  • Preparing or reviewing the statement of philosophy
    • The management group or governing board is responsible for writing a draft statement of philosophy. This should be circulated to as many stakeholders as possible to get their opinion. This can be done through a meeting or by doing a survey; whatever method is best for your stakeholders.

      Their ideas and comments should be included in the final statement before it is circulated again. It may be necessary to go back to each of the groups to make sure that everyone is happy with the final statement of philosophy. Statements of philosophy do not have to be long but they do need to be clear about why the service exists and what it stands for.

      The statement of philosophy should be reviewed each year and the annual general meeting is a good time to do this. It’s a good idea to give a copy to those involved a week or 2 before the meeting so they can think about whether changes are needed.

      Giving a ‘close-off’ date for suggested changes keeps the review on track and means the refreshed statement can be presented at the annual general meeting.