Early Learning Regulatory Review Advisory Group - Terms of Reference

Terms of reference, and advisory group information for the Early Learning Regulatory Review.

Early Learning Regulatory Review

The Ministry of Education has begun a comprehensive review of the early learning regulatory system (the Review). The Review’s purpose is to ensure current and future effectiveness of the regulatory system in supporting high quality educational outcomes, and to enable the Ministry’s role as regulators and stewards of the system.

The Review will be undertaken in three tranches to ensure high priority issues are prioritised first. Less pressing issues, or issues that require further policy work and sector engagement, will be addressed in later tranches. Broadly the tranches are as follows:

  1. Tranche one will address a number of known issues within the current regulatory system that present limitations to ensuring regulatory standards are met, or are cumbersome to implement. These issues pose a degree of risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of children. The goal is for implementation early 2021.
  2. Tranche two will largely cover the commitments we have made as part of the Action Plan released last year and as part of the home-based review. The intention is for tranche two to be implemented by mid-2022.
  3. Tranche three are the remaining matters that require significant further work to develop such as ensuring that children are at the centre of our system, and how the regulatory system can support the Crown’s responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The intention is for this tranche to be implemented in late 2023.

In early August 2020, Cabinet directed the Ministry to undertake consultation on the draft regulations for tranche one from the end of October 2020. Consultation will be open for eight weeks.

Terms of Reference


The purpose of the Early Learning Regulatory Review Advisory Group (the Group) is to contribute expertise and knowledge from across the early learning sector on all tranches of the Review. This will include:

  • providing advice on issues and opportunities within the early learning regulatory system
  • providing feedback and advice on policy and regulatory options
  • identifying potential risks, issues, or alternatives for implementation
  • supporting wider engagement with the sector.

Principles for operation

The Group will have access to analysis, data and research, as appropriate, on the specific topics under discussion. This will include material that is still at a conceptual stage of development.

The responsibilities of the Group members are that they:

  • act in an advisory role to the Ministry - the group will not be in a decision-making role or be asked to produce a separate report
  • attend all scheduled meetings when possible (it is not necessary for members  to send delegates in their place when absent)
  • undertake pre-meeting reading, if provided; engage with the discussion at each meeting; and complete any post-meeting actions
  • maintain the confidentiality of all information provided and all discussions during meetings.




Pauline Winter

Auckland Kindergarten Association

Jo Lambert

Barnardos New Zealand

Fiona Hughes

BestStart Educare

Sarah Alexander

Independent, ChildForum CEO

Calmar Ulberg

Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association

Peter Reynolds

Early Childhood Council

Timothy Wong

Evolve Education Group

Emma Norrie

Evolve Education Group

Cathy Wilson

Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand

Shelley Hughes

NZEI Te Riu Roa

Jill Bond

New Zealand Kindergartens Inc

Raewyn Overton-Stuart

Paua Early Childhood Home Based Care Service

Thomas Tawhiri

Playcentre Aotearoa New Zealand

Andrew Philipps

Provincial Education

Arapera Royal Tangaere

Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust

Esther Tinirau

Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust

Catherine Bell

Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand

Note that if any member wishes to withdraw their membership they may be asked to nominate a replacement representative.


The Ministry of Education will maintain oversight of the Group and is responsible for keeping the Minister of Education informed of any relevant outcomes, risks and issues.

Members are not to disclose any of the information they receive due to their role as a member unless the Ministry specifically indicates that they can disclose certain information. The Ministry will advise members of the information that they can disclose on a meeting-by-meeting and/or document-by-document basis.

The Terms of Reference and Group membership will be published on the Education Conversation | Kōrero Mātauranga website.


The Group will commence in August 2020. The Group is likely to be required until late 2023.

Meetings of the Group will be held via Zoom every two to three months, with some ad hoc meetings if required.

Any physical meetings will be held at the Ministry’s National Office, Mātauranga House, 33 Bowen Street, Wellington. The Ministry will cover all costs directly associated with hosting the meetings, including transport, catering and any other actual and reasonable expenses associated with members’ attendance. This does not include professional fees.

The Ministry will provide an agenda in advance of the meeting.

The meetings will be chaired by John Brooker.

The Ministry will formally record the minutes of the meetings and distribute to Group members.

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