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. 


GMA11 Attendance records

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Governance Management and Administration criterion 11

      An attendance record is maintained that shows the times and dates of every child’s attendance at the service. Records are kept for at least 7 years.

      Documentation required:

      An attendance record that meets the requirements outlined in the Early Childhood Education Funding Handbook for children currently attending, and children who have attended in the previous 7 years.


      The maintenance of attendance records is an indicator of good management and administration practices and supports the accountability of service providers to the community and government.

  • 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

      Attendance records for all children who attend the service are required and these records must be kept for seven years. This could be 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.

      The Section 6-3 in the Early Childhood Education Funding Handbook details what is required in keeping attendance records. Attendance records may be kept in a form to suit the service.

      Service must keep evidence that a parent or guardian of each child has regularly examined and confirmed the attendance record. This needs to be completed:

      • Once a month for sessional teacher led and parent/whanau led services, or
      • Once a week for all-day teacher led services

      A template for sign-in/sign-out records is included in Appendix 2 in the Funding Handbook.

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