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. 


HS25 First aid qualifications

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and safety practices criterion 25

      There is an adult present at all times for every 25 children attending (or part thereof) that:

      • holds a current First Aid qualification gained from a New Zealand Qualification Authority accredited first aid training provider; or 
      • is a registered medical practitioner or nurse with a current practising certificate; or 
      • is a qualified ambulance officer or paramedic.

      If a child is injured, any required first aid is administered or supervised by an adult meeting these requirements.

      Documentation required:

      Copies of current first aid (or medical practising) certificates for adults counting towards this requirement.


      The criterion aims to uphold the safety of children by ensuring adults with the necessary skills and knowledge to deal with injuries and illness are present at all times and readily available.

      Amended May 2016

  • Guidance
    • Guidance

      Information on the required first aid qualifications is available of the First Aid page of this website.

      This includes who to contact to have an international first aid qualification assessed to see if it meets requirements.

      When a centre takes some children on an excursion and some children remain at the centre, the first aid qualification ratio must be met both on the excursion and at the centre.