First aid qualifications for ECE services and kōhanga reo

Your early childhood education (ECE) centre or kōhanga reo must have one first aid qualified person present for every 50 children attending at all times.

For home-based services there must be a first aid qualified adult present at all times while children are attending. However, there is an allowance for instances where a new educator’s access to first aid training is limited due to circumstances beyond the service provider’s control. In such cases, service providers must ensure their educators:

  • have knowledge of first aid, and
  • gain a first aid qualification within four months of starting work at the service.

Further operational guidelines are available for services about when this condition applies and how to assess an educator's first aid knowledge.

This is to meet the requirements of regulation 46(1)(a) in the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008(external link).

First aid qualification

To be recognised as a qualified first aider an adult must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have a current New Zealand Qualifications Authority- (NZQA) approved first aid qualification.
  • Be a registered medical practitioner or nurse with a current practising certificate.
  • Be a qualified ambulance officer or paramedic.

If a child is injured, any required first aid must be administered or supervised by an adult meeting these qualification requirements.

Get the right first aid qualification

First aid qualifications must:

There are a number of unit standards available that provide a first aid qualification to meet our requirements. These are:

  • for ECE centres and kōhanga reo:
    • core health unit standards 6401 (Provide first aid) and 6402 (Provide resuscitation level 2)
    • first aid unit standards 26551 (Provide first aid for life threatening conditions) and 26552 (Demonstrate knowledge of common first aid conditions and how to respond to them) These unit standards are expiring – the last date for assessment is 31 December 2019. You can read more about this on the NZQA website(external link).

Unit standards 6401, 6402, 26551 and 26552 cover first aid for children and adults.

  • for home-based services:
    • we recommend first aid unit standard 25459 (Provide first aid for young children).

Core health unit standards 6401 and 6402 (detailed above for ECE centres and kōhanga reo) may also be considered for home-based services, however note that they cover first aid for children and adults.

Unit standard 25459 covers first for children only.

In addition to the unit standards specified above for ECE centres, kōhanga reo and home-based services, the Ministry of Education recommends that unit standard 6400 (Manage first aid in emergency situations) is considered for their first aiders.

Training providers

View first aid training providers with consent to assess unit standards 6401, 6402, 6400, 26551, 26552 and 25459 on the First Aid page of the NZQA website.(external link)

Once you have completed your first aid training, your training provider must report your first aid qualification to the NZQA so they can add this to your Record of Achievement.

International first aid qualifications

If you have an international first aid qualification The Skills Organisation(external link) will need to assess its content to see if it meets New Zealand requirements. If it is approved, you will need to take a refresher course every two years from the date of completion of the original overseas qualification.

Keeping your qualification current

To keep your first aid qualification current you will need to attend a refresher course with a registered first aid provider. 

Further information can be found on The Skills Organisation(external link) website.

Qualification reviews

From time to time the first aid qualifications are reviewed.

The first aid unit standards are currently under review by the standard setting body, the Skills Organisation.

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