Licensing criteria for centre-based ECE services

Section 10 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link) defines an early childhood education and care centre as a premises that is used regularly for the education or care of 3 or more children (not being children of the persons providing the education or care or children enrolled at a school who are being provided with education or care before or after school) under the age of 6 years by day (or part of a day) but not for any continuous period of more than 7 days.

Centre-based ECE services have a variety of different operating structures, philosophies and affiliations, and are known by many different names – for example, Playcentres, early learning centres, Montessori, childcare centres, Kindergartens, crèches, preschools, a’oga amata, Rudolf Steiner etc.

These centres are licensed in accordance with the Education and Training Act 2020 under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008(external link), which prescribe minimum standards that each licensed service must meet. Licensing criteria are used to assess how the centres meet the minimum standards required by the regulations.

For each criterion there is guidance to help centres meet the required standards.

The publication of the criteria on its own can be downloaded as a PDF [PDF, 2.1 MB] and printed. 

The licensing criteria were last updated in January 2022. 


Appendix 2: Infectious diseases for criterion HS26

Note: Conditions marked with an asterisk (*) are notifiable diseases.


Time between exposure and sickness

This disease is spread by...

Early signs

Infectious period

Action to be taken1(external link)

Chicken Pox 10 - 21 Days Coughing and sneezing.
Also direct contact with weeping blisters.
Fever and spots with a blister on top of each spot From up to 5 days before appearance of rash until lesions have crusted (usually about 5 days). Exclude from service for one week from date of appearance of rash.
* Hepatitis A 15 - 50 days (average 28 - 30 days). From food or water contaminated with faeces from an infected person; or by direct spread from an infected person. Nausea,
stomach pains, general sickness.
Jaundice a few days later.
From about 2 weeks before signs appear until 1 week after jaundice starts. Exclude from service for 7 days from onset of jaundice.
* Hepatitis B 6 weeks - 6 months (usually 2 - 3 months). Close physical contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. Similar to Hepatitis A. The blood and body fluids may be infectious several weeks before signs appear and until weeks or months later. A few are infectious for years. Exclude from service until well or as advised by GP.
* Measles (immunisation usually prevents this illness) Usually 10 days to onset, 14 days to rash. Coughing and sneezing. Also direct contact with the nose / throat secretions of an infected person. Running nose and eyes, cough, fever and a rash. From 5 days before until 5 days from onset of rash. Exclude from service for at least 5 days from onset of rash.
* Meningitis (Meningococcal) 2 - 10 days (usually 3 - 4 days). Close physical contact such as kissing, sleeping in the same room. Generally unwell, fever, headache, vomiting, sometimes a rash. Urgent treatment is important! Until 24 hours after starting treatment with antibiotics. Exclude from service until well, with no symptoms for at least 48 hours.
* Mumps (immunisation usually prevents this illness) 12–25 days, usually 16–18 days. Contact with infected saliva - coughing, sneezing, kissing and sharing food or drink. Pain in jaw, then swelling in front of ear, and fever. For one week before swelling appears until 9 days after. Exclude from service until 9 days after swelling develops, or until child is well, whichever is sooner.
Ringworm 10 - 14 days Contact with infected person's skin or with their clothes or personal items.
Also through contaminated floors and shower stalls.
Flat spreading ring-shaped lesions. While lesions are present, and while fungus persists on contaminated material. Restrict contact activities e.g. gym and swimming until lesions clear.
* Salmonella 6 - 72 hours (usually 12 - 36 hours). Under-cooked food like chicken, eggs and meat; food or water contaminated with faeces from an infected person or animal; or direct spread from an infected person or animal.

Stomach pain, nausea, fever and diarrhoea.

Until well, and possibly weeks or months after. Exclude from service until well with no further diarrhoea.
Sore Throat
1 - 5 days Usually contact with the secretions of a strep sore throat. Headache, vomiting, sore throat. An untreated sore throat can lead to Rheumatic Fever. For 24 - 48 hours after treatment with antibiotics is started. Exclude from service until 24 hours after antibiotics started.
* Whooping Cough (immunisation usually prevents this illness) 5–21 days, usually 7–10 days Coughing. Adults and older older children may pass on the infection to babies. Running nose, persistent cough followed by "whoop", vomiting or breathlessness.

From runny nose stage and for 3 weeks after the onset of cough, if not treated with antibiotics. Or until 5 days of antibiotic treatment.

Exclude from service until 21 days from onset of coughing or after 5 days antibiotics.

1 Or as advised by a GP, local Public Health Service, or the Ministry of Health.