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.

MA2 Parent involvement

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Governance Management & Administration criterion 2

      Parents and caregivers of children attending are given opportunities to discuss the group’s operation and be involved in decision making.

      Documentation required:

      A record of the opportunities provided for participation by parents and caregivers in decision making, including any meetings held and the decisions made.


      The intent of the criteria is to involve parents and caregivers in 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.

      There will be a number of approaches to making sure parents and caregivers can be involved in making decisions about the playgroup’s operation and in the decision-making process.

      Some of these will be more formal as in the case of regular monthly meetings and others will be less formal as in meeting over a shared meal or coffee. As well, you may want to display information on notice boards or use surveys and questionnaires to gain information.

      You are required to keep a record showing you have provided opportunities for parents and caregivers to contribute to decision-making processes. If meetings are held, recording attendance and decisions and then providing minutes of the meeting could be considered a record. If surveys or questionnaires are used, keep a copy of the collated responses and how you have provided feedback to group members about any actions taken.