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.

MA3 Group supervision

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Governance Management & Administration criterion 3

      All parents and caregivers at the playgroup share responsibility for the safety and supervision of all children attending.

      Rationale/Intent

      This criteria aims to ensure children attending without a parent or caregiver are supervised and supported.

  • 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 key feature of playgroups is the high ratio of adults to children.

      Read about the Ratio Standard (Regulation 19) which requires that more than half of the children attending on any occasion have a parent or caregiver present in the same play area at the same time; and 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. There is an expectation that the adults attending playgroup are all collectively responsible for the children at playgroup and engage with the children’s activities.

      Some things that your group will need to consider:

      • What is our playgroup’s policy on parents and caregivers staying?
      • Do we expect all parents and caregivers to stay all the time?
      • What can adults do when they are at playgroup?
      • How do parents and caregivers nominate a caregiver?
      • How do we ensure there are sufficient adults in any one area to at least meet the minimum ratios standard and for meaningful interactions?

      Having a roster of jobs can be helpful for the day-to-day running of a playgroup. A roster lets everyone know who is doing what and helps a playgroup session run smoothly.

      Download an example of one playgroup's roster and job descriptions below.

      Downloads