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, 1.8 MB] and printed. 

The licensing criteria were last updated in September 2022. 


GMA10 Enrolment records

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Governance Management and Administration criterion 10

      Enrolment records are maintained for each child attending. Records are kept for at least 7 years.

      Documentation required:

      Enrolment records for each child currently attending and for those who have attended in the previous 7 years.

      Records meet the requirements of the Early Childhood Education Funding Handbook and include at least:

      • the child's full name, date of birth, and address;
      • the name and address of at least 1 parent;
      • details of how at least 1 parent (or someone nominated by them) can be contacted while the child attends the service;
      • the name of the medical practitioner (or medical centre) who should, if practicable, be consulted if the child is ill or injured;
      • details of any chronic illness/condition that the child has, and of any implications or actions to be followed in relation to that illness/condition;
      • the names of the people authorised by the parent to collect the child; and
      • any court orders affecting day to day care of, or contact with, the child.

      The maintenance of enrolment records provides evidence of the accountability of service providers to the community and government for Crown funding. Enrolment records are also an indicator of good management and administration practices necessary to ensure the safety of the children attending.

      Amended May 2015

  • Guidance
    • Guidance

      Any examples in the guidance are provided as a starting point to show how services can meet (or exceed) the requirement. Services may choose to use other approaches better suited to their needs as long as they comply with the criteria.

      Enrolment records are kept for at least seven years, either paper based or electronically. Records should be stored in a way that they can’t get corrupted or altered after a parent has signed them.

      Services need a process to ensure that enrolment forms are checked by parents at least annually to ensure all enrolment details are up to date. It is good practice to have enrolment forms checked more often if possible

      Services must wherever possible sight the child’s birth certificate. Record the type of document and the date sighted. Each child must have an NSN (National Student Number) that requires sighting of the child’s birth certificate or passport. If you can’t sight this documentation contact MOE Resourcing contact centre on 0800 ECE ECE to discuss.

      An example enrolment form can be downloaded from Chapter 6-1 in the Early Childhood Funding Handbook. This form can be adapted to suit the services particular circumstances but must have at least the mandatory requirements.

      Services should be familiar with the obligations of the Privacy Act and understand the twelve information privacy principles dealing with collecting, holding, use and disclosure of personal information. Information on this can be found at the Privacy Commissioner website(external link).

      Note: if a parent states that another parent or guardian has restricted or no access to their child, a copy of the applicable court order needs to be provided to the centre. This should be attached to the child’s enrolment information and staff should be made clearly aware of the situation.

      After 7 years, records can be disposed of. This needs to be done so that unauthorised access to the information is not possible.