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.

HS3 Securing furniture

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and safety criterion 3

      Positive steps are taken to prevent injury to people and damage to property resulting from unsecured heavy furniture, fixtures and equipment falling.


      This criteria aims to ensure adults and children are kept safe from harm.


  • 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.

      In all areas of the playgroup premises, large and heavy items of furniture and equipment and appliances must be secured to the structure of the building. Smaller appliances such as stereos or microwave ovens can be secured with industrial velcro.

      Lighter things such as books and blocks can also cause injury if they fall on children. These can be held on shelves by wire or a short chain connected to the shelf with a metal eye or hook.

      See Things to Consider for securing furniture that may need to be moved frequently.

      Lockable castors should be used to prevent trolleys or shelving on wheels from moving around. Think about weight distribution on free standing shelves.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      When securing these items, the following guidelines will be useful:

      • Always fasten to the structure of the building. Studs are fine, but wallboards may be too weak.
      • Make sure that the fastenings you use are strong enough to hold the weight of the heavy object. What will happen if it gets bounced up and down?
      • When you can, try to fasten objects near the top rather than at the bottom. If you cannot, then the fastenings at the bottom will need to be very strong. This is because of the leverage effect when something topples (a fridge for example).

      Connections that are easy to unclip and re-clip allow you to move furniture when you need to. You can place fastening points at several places around the walls (in some buildings).

      A short chain on the furniture connected to a metal eye on the wall, by means of a carabena, D-bolt, or similar, can be a good system. This means you can change your furniture around, and still have secure fastening for the heavy objects.