Certification criteria for playgroups

Section 10 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link) defines a playgroup as a group that meets on a regular basis to facilitate children's play and in respect of which—

  1. no child attends for more than 4 hours on any day; and
  2. more than half the children attending on any occasion have a parent or caregiver present in the same play area at the same time; and
  3. the total number of children attending on any occasion is not greater than 4 times the number of parents and caregivers present in the same play area at the same time.

Playgroups include Puna Kōhungahunga, cultural playgroups and community language playgroups.

Playgroups are certificated in accordance with the Education and Training Act 2020 under the Education (Playgroups) Regulations 2008(external link), which prescribe minimum standards that each certificated playgroup must meet. Certification criteria are used to assess how playgroups meet the minimum standards required by the regulations.

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

The publication of the criteria on its own can be downloaded as a PDF [PDF, 1.1 MB] and printed.

The certification criteria were last updated in September 2022.


For the purposes of these criteria:

'Group' means a playgroup.

‘Parent’ means:

  • the person (or people) responsible for having the role of providing day to day care for the child; and
  • may include a biological or adoptive parent, step parent, partner of a parent of a child, legal guardian or member of the child’s family, whanau or other culturally recognised family group.

'Premises' means the land and buildings (or parts of buildings) used by the playgroup.

'Procedure' means a particular and established way of doing something.

'Records' means information or data on a particular subject collected and preserved.

'Regulation' means a regulation under the Education (Playgroups) Regulations 2008; and

'Service Provider' means the person or persons who operate the playgroup.