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.

Closing a playgroup

  1. All remaining funds received from the Ministry of Education must be returned.
  2. All equipment purchased with ministry funding must be returned to us. It is therefore very important that clear financial records and equipment inventories are kept.

The dispersal of group-owned assets (money and equipment) should be decided by remaining members of the group, in consultation with your Ministry of Education early childhood advisor.

If your group no longer meets Ministry of Education funding criteria but wishes to continue meeting it may be possible to retain the use of equipment and existing funds. Please discuss this with your Ministry of Education early childhood advisor.