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, 394 KB] and printed.

The certification criteria were last updated in May 2016.

HS6 Room temperature

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and safety criterion 6

      The premises are kept at a comfortable temperature while children are attending.


      This criteria aims to uphold the well being of children.

  • 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.

      You need to ensure that rooms used by children a kept at minimum of 16°C at 500mm above the floor from the beginning of operating hours.

      Playgroups may choose to keep their rooms at a higher temperature.

      WHO guidelines state a minimum of 18°C for residential living spaces. The criteria requirement does not specify an exact temperature to allow for fluctuations due to doors opening to allow children to move between indoor and outdoor spaces.

      Having the building too warm could lead to lethargy in children and adults.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      If you think your heating is inadequate discuss heating options with the building owner. You might like to think about taking turns in winter to come in earlier and get the heaters going (or maybe there is someone else in the building who will do this for you?) so that the rooms have heated up to 16°C when the rest of the group come in.