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.

PF2 Infant toddler safe space

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Premises and facilities criterion

      There are safe and comfortable spaces for infants, toddlers or children not walking to lie, roll, creep, crawl, pull themselves up, learn to walk, and be protected from more mobile children.


      This criteria is intended to ensure the safety of infants and toddlers and to support their exploration, development and learning.


  • 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.

      Playgroups give children of all ages the chance to work and play together.

      When children of different ages are together in the same space, it is very important that the environment is set up to allow infants and toddlers to explore and play safely. This can be done in ways that let them be part of the playgroup community and learn alongside other children while making sure they are safe and able to move without restrictions or limitations.

      For more information about making your space safe visit the ACC website(external link).

      Cushions or low barriers around a carpeted area can provide a space for babies or toddlers.

      Some playgroups may choose to provide an infant specific area. Talk to your local Ministry of Education advisor about different ways to do this.