Developing guidance on centre design, environmental factors and group size

The Ministry of Education is working with an advisory panel of experts to develop comprehensive, integrated and culturally responsive guidance for early learning services about centre design, environmental factors and group size and organisation and how to improve quality in these areas.


The centre design, environmental factors and group size advisory panel (CEGAP) will play a key role in informing this work bringing a range of valuable knowledge and expertise.

Panel members


Role and organisation

Adam Stride 

Director, Outdoor Play Environment Safety & Compliance Specialist

Playsafe Ltd

Alan Lints 

Director, owner, co-founder

Educare Early Learning Centres 

Dr Ali Glasgow 

Senior Lecturer, Ako Pai School of Education

Victoria University | Te Herenga Waka

Dr Ann Pairman 

Former principal adviser

Te Poutāhū (Curriculum Centre)

Chris Bayes 

Practising teacher, Trustee

Reggio Emilia Aotearoa NZ

David Spraggs 

Professional Leader

Gisborne Kindergarten Association 

Fiona Frew 

Centre owner/Director

Kids at Play 

Fiona Hughes 

Deputy CEO, GM Property and Development

BestStart Educare 

Gregory Shadbolt 


Tilt Architecture 

Jenny Pitama 

Manager, Business Development

Kidsfirst Kindergartens 

Jenny Tippet 

ECE Education Consultant/Kaitohutohu

4Es Consulting 

Dr Kate McAnelly 

Mātanga Ārahi/Lead Practitioner

Tūranga mō ngā Mokopuna 

Lynette Wray 

Senior teacher

He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association 

Prof Marek Tesar 

Professor of ECE, Head of School & Associate Dean, Director of Centre for Global Childhoods

University of Auckland | Waipapa Taumata Rau

Michelle Pratt 

Director of Development

New Shoots Childrens Centres 

Dr Mike Bedford 

Wellbeing & Design Specialist ECE & Care, Senior Tutor
Massey University | Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa

Executive Officer
ECE Reform 

Dr Nicola McDowell 

Senior Lecturer, Specialist Teaching, Institute of Education

Massey University | Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa

Phil Smith 

Founder and director

Smith Architects 

Susan Bates 

Teacher, advocate, researcher

Teachers Advocacy Group 

A/P Wyatt Page 

Associate Professor, Acoustics and Human Health, School of Health Sciences

Massey University | Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa

Additional panel members

Additional panel members may be co-opted onto the panel or brought on to contribute to specific aspects of the work from time to time. We intend to co-opt people who can bring te ao Māori, Pacific and disability perspectives to this work. We may also co-opt people with additional technical expertise as needed.

What the panel will do

CEGAP is responsible for supporting work relating to ventilation and air quality, thermal comfort, lighting, noise/acoustics, activity space (m2), active play (indoors and outdoors), concurrent quiet/noisy activities, nature-based services and group size and organisation.

Group size and organisation will be considered in the context of designing spaces that enable small group interactions. While this may inform future work on adult:child ratios, ratio are not an area that CEGAP is responsible for addressing directly.

See the CEGAP terms of reference [PDF, 197 KB].

More information

This page will be updated as work in this space progresses.

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