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.

C6 Culture

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Curriculum criterion 6

      The service curriculum respects and supports the right of each child to be confident in their own culture and encourages children to understand and respect other cultures.

      Documentation required


      This criterion is a means of ensuring that the service curriculum is responsive to the different cultures of the families of the children attending and helps children gain a positive awareness of their own and other cultures.

  • 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.

      Children’s learning and development is enhanced if the well-being of their family and community is supported; if their family, culture, knowledge and community are respected; and if there is a strong connection and consistency between all aspects of the child’s world.

      When all families are welcomed it supports a child’s sense of connection and connectedness. The service curriculum supports the cultural identity of all children, affirms and celebrates cultural differences, and aims to help children gain a positive awareness of their own and other cultures.

  • Practice
    • Practice

      Examples of what this might look like in practice:

      • Partnerships are developed with families/whānau to assist understanding of the values, customs, rituals, and practices that are important to the child and to identify meaningful ways to include these in the curriculum
      • Children’s home languages and cultural practices are heard and seen around the home
      • Resources reflect ethnic diversity and the cultures of the families using the service
      • Experiences and opportunities are taken for the modelling of non-discriminatory practices
      • Important events are acknowledged and celebrated to foster children’s sense of worth and belonging within the environment
      • Children have opportunities to share aspects of their culture with others in the service
      • Educators use a variety of teaching strategies that demonstrate the holistic way children learn and grow.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      Things to consider:

      • In what ways are families/whānau kept informed about and encouraged to participate in the development of our service curriculum?
      • In what ways do our self-review processes support children knowing about and understanding their own culture and others' cultures?
      • How is our understanding of and respect for our own and others’ cultures reflected in our service’s philosophy statement, policies, and practices? Governance and Management criteria?
      • How do we know whether our programme is effective, in relation to supporting each child to be confident in their own cultures and respectful of others’ cultures? Evaluation criteria
      • How do we ensure the provision of meaningful and respectful cultural experiences?
      • Are our relationships with families/whānau reciprocal and responsive? How do we know?
      • How do we challenge discriminatory practices and behaviour in our service?
      • How do we challenge issues to do with fairness and social justice?
      • What opportunities are there for the children to take part in events and customs of cultural significance?
      • How do our behaviours demonstrate that we value and respect diversity?