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.

MA1 Statement of operation

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Governance Management & Administration criterion 1

      An agreed statement about the operation of the playgroup is available for people to read.

      Documentation required

      An agreed statement of group aims and information outlining:

      • the group’s philosophy
      • days and times of operation
      • the role of adults
      • costs such as fees or donations, and
      • contact numbers for people seeking information about the group.
      Rationale/Intent

      This criteria is intended to provide parents and caregivers with information about the operation of the playgroup.

  • 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.

      A statement giving parents and caregivers key information about your playgroup does not have to be complicated – as long as the main points are covered, you can make it as simple or detailed as you want. The following types of things should be included.

      The group’s philosophy/kaupapa

      This is the section of your operation statement where you explain the purpose of your group and what you want it to achieve for children and their parents and caregivers. This will include the shared beliefs and values that are important to parents and caregivers in the playgroup. Every statement of philosophy will be different but you might want to include:

      • the purpose for setting up the playgroup
      • what you want to achieve day-by-day
      • what values are really important for your playgroup.

      An example of one playgroup’s philosophy is: “We believe children should have the opportunity to meet and play with other children in their community.”

      Some playgroups may have more specific purposes like promoting language and cultural values.

      Days and time of operation

      Include a statement about when and where the group meets.

      Role of adults

      Adults need to know:

      • the ground rules for attending playgroup sessions
      • the positions of responsibility playgroup needs to be managed effectively
      • what is involved in these positions and how they are filled.

      Costs such as fees or donations

      Think about the costs to run the playgroup. Some playgroups are run by koha or donations, some have a regular fee and others are free. It must be clear to parents and caregivers how much it will cost them to attend playgroup.

      Contact numbers for people seeking information about the group

      It is useful to include phone numbers for key people who can be contacted for information about the playgroup. Make sure this is kept up-to-date and is somewhere easy to find. Make it clear if the phone number is for the playgroup premises or for the key contact people. Think about specifying a time when these people can be contacted.

      Playgroups must provide the Ministry of Education with name and address for a funding contact person, and keep them informed when changes occur. This is the person that funding claim forms and other information are sent to.

      You will need to think about how you make your statement of operation available for people to read. Some playgroups put their statement of operation up on the wall while others provide parents and caregivers with written information (on a pamphlet or newsletter) when they first come to playgroup so they know what to expect.

      A statement giving parents key information about your playgroup does not have to be complicated - as long as the main points are covered, you can make it as simple or detailed as you want. Some playgroups put their statement of operation up on the wall for all parents and visitors to read, while others provide parents with written information (on a pamphlet or newsletter) when they first come to playgroup so they know what to expect.

      Downloads