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.

HS8 Smoking

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and safety criterion 8

      No person on the premises smokes or vapes in any area which is available for use by children or for food preparation while children are present.


      The purpose of this criteria is to protect children’s health and well being from the impact of smoking.

  • 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.

      All areas of the premises accessible to children, both indoors and outdoors, must be 100% smoke/vape-free.

      Parents should never smoke or vape at the playgroup while children are attending the service.

      You will need to think about a process for parents to manage situations where an adult present at the premises wishes to smoke or vape. This will include the outside area when children are present.

      It is a good idea to include this requirement in a parent information pack.