Licensing criteria for home-based ECE services

Section 10 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link) defines home-based ECE services as the provision of education or care, for gain or reward, to children who are under the age of 5 years, or who are aged 5 years but not enrolled at school, in:

  • the children’s own home; or
  • the home of the person providing the education or care; or
  • any other home nominated by a parent of the children.

These services are licensed in accordance with the Education and Training Act 2020 under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008(external link), which prescribe minimum standards that each licensed service must meet. Licensing criteria are used to assess how the services meet the minimum standards required by the regulations.

For each criterion there is guidance to help services meet the required standards.

The publication of the criteria on its own can be downloaded as a PDF [PDF, 1.3 MB] and printed.

The licensing criteria were last updated in September 2022.

C5 Acknowledgement of tangata whenua

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Curriculum criterion 5

      The service curriculum acknowledges and reflects the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua. Children are given the opportunity to develop knowledge and an understanding of the cultural heritages of both parties to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

      Documentation required


      This criterion is a means of ensuring that the service curriculum supports all children to develop an understanding and appreciation of New Zealand’s cultural heritage.

  • 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.

      Te Tiriti o Waitangi plays a significant role in the revitalisation of Māori language and culture, an important part of Aotearoa/New Zealand culture. Early childhood services are a vital link to ensuring all New Zealand children, regardless of ethnicity, are given the opportunity to learn about and experience, in a very real way, both Pākehā and Māori culture.

      Te Whāriki is a bi-lingual, bi-cultural document which reflects Māori views of children’s learning and development and includes many strategies for implementing bi-cultural programmes. Quality in Action also provides useful guidance, as bi-cultural approaches are threaded throughout the document.

      The service curriculum will be developed in partnership with Māori to provide genuine opportunities for participation in programme development, enhancing outcomes for Māori children.

  • Practice
    • Practice

      Examples of what this might look like in practice:

      • Te Reo Māori is spoken, heard, and visible across the environment and used for a range of purposes
      • Children learn about the history of local hapu and iwi through meaningful experiences
      • Educators use teaching strategies which reflect tikanga Māori, including narrative, song, art, and movement
      • Educators integrate te reo me tikanga Māori into all aspects of the service curriculum, including routines, rituals, and regular events
      • Children are aware of their own ancestral heritage and the history of Aotearoa/New Zealand
      • Children display a strong sense of environmental awareness and care, including consideration of both the natural (living) world and the physical (non-living) environment
      • The service philosophy and practices reflect commitment to a bi-cultural partnership.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      Things to consider:

      • What do we understand about the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua? How is this visible within our environment?
      • How do we ensure that management and educators understand the principle of partnership inherent in Te Tiriti o Waitangi?
      • How is this partnership reflected in the policies and practices of the service as identified in the governance and management criteria?
      • How does our service encourage and/or support educators to extend their knowledge and use of te reo me tikanga Māori
      • How are we communicating and working in partnership with Māori? How is this determined? Is it effective? How do we know?
      • Do we know the history of and/or understand the protocols of our local hapū and iwi?