Licensing criteria for home-based ECE services

Section 10 of the Education and Training Act 2020 defines home-based ECE services as the provision of education or care, for gain or reward, to fewer than 5 children under the age of 6 (in addition to any child enrolled at school who is the child of the person who provides education or care) in:

  1. their own homes
  2. the home of the person providing education or care
  3. any other home nominated by the parents of the children.

These services are licensed in accordance with the Education and Training Act 2020 under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, 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, 541 KB] and printed.

The licensing criteria were last updated in November 2016.

Licensing Criteria Cover

GMA6 Human resource management

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Governance Management and Administration criterion 6

      Suitable human resource management practices are implemented for educators and staff.

      Documentation required:

      Processes for human resource management. Processes at least include:

      • procedures for the selection and appointment of suitable educators and staff;
      • job/role descriptions;
      • training plans for educators with little or no previous experience in early childhood education;
      • induction procedures into the service;
      • a system of regular appraisal;
      • provision for professional development;
      • a definition of serious misconduct; and
      • discipline/dismissal procedures.

      The criterion informs the Ministry of Education about the management’s commitment and capability to implement human resource management practices that will recruit, manage and develop competent staff, as the ongoing quality of the staff engaging with and educating children is important in a quality service.

      Selection processes and the provision of training will help ensure educators with little or no experience working in home-based early childhood education environments are: suitable or fit to be an educator, able to develop the appropriate skills and receive ongoing professional development support from service providers.

      Amended May 2015


  • 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

      Human resource management covers the full range of employment activities from recruitment, through managing and developing staff and educators, to the eventual ending of the employment/contractual relationship. As an employer/contractor you are expected to be familiar with all the relevant employment/self-employment related legislation and to use best practice procedures in your service.

      While services may not have an employment relationship with contract staff or nannies employed directly by families, the same principles apply to ensure that all adults engaging with or educating children understand the requirements of the role and your expectations of them.

      Service providers may be brokering and facilitating the relationship between a nanny or educator and the family and as such need to ensure that families directly employing a nanny have an employment contract in place which meets current legislation. Families should be advised to seek independent legal advice.

      Leadership is a key to successful people management and development in ECE services. Good practice is likely to include a model of leadership where:

      • Coordinators have a range of skills and knowledge to support them in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities.
      • A team approach to leadership supports growing staff capability.
      • Leaders have a good understanding of employment practices and are committed to employing staff who fit well with the philosophy and context of the service.
      • Educators are encouraged and supported to individually review their teaching practices or critically reflect as a group.
      • Leaders support and appropriately resource professional development.
      • Leaders provide a supportive, caring, open and respectful environment, and actively advocate for, and support bicultural development and associated practices.

      The following are highly effective employment practices.

      Recruitment and appointment of staff

      • Clear policies and procedures that reflect the requirements of current legislation and provide managers with useful guidance
      • Regularly reviewed job descriptions and HR policies and procedures
      • Job descriptions and person specifications that reflect the philosophy and needs of the service and any regulatory requirements
      • Before confirming an appointment, referees need to be contacted; qualifications verified; and police vetting checks completed as necessary.

      Support for staff development

      • Orientation/induction and ongoing support programme for new staff
      • Services proactively support staff with ongoing professional development
      • Philosophy, goals and professional development are clearly linked
      • Professional development is closely aligned to individual appraisal goals
      • Professional development is a priority and appropriately resourced.

      Support for educator development

      • Service Orientation processes and ongoing support from coordinators during induction programmes for new educators
      • Coordinators document support given and improved educators’ practices noted during their monthly visits
      • Coordinators/staff guide educators in professional development goals- by role modelling and facilitating professional discussions that include:
        • reflection on teaching practice
        • Setting goals around improving practice
        • Recording outcomes
        • Services collaboratively set goals for educator’s ongoing professional development on an ongoing basis
        • Philosophy, goals and professional development are clearly linked
        • Professional development is a priority and appropriately resourced.

      Improving staff performance

      • Appraisal practices are part of at least an annual cycle which is linked to professional development and includes provision for ongoing coaching or mentoring.
      • Where necessary, processes for coordinators are aligned to the Registered Teachers Criteria and expectations are made explicit through performance indicators linked to job descriptions.
      • Appraisal process includes opportunities for self reflection.
      • Staff, in conjunction with the appraiser, identifies specific and measurable goals, and progress towards achieving these is monitored through observations, conversations and ongoing feedback.

      The Ministry of Education provides further information on staff employment.

      There are specific requirements for home-based services contained with the Education Act and ECE Regulations. These are:

      Police vetting and safety checking 

      There are police vetting and safety checking requirements for all early learning services under the Education Act 1989 and the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. See more details about police vetting and safety checking.

      Reporting to Education Council

      The Education Act 1989 states that an employer must provide a mandatory report to the Education Council in certain circumstances. Failing to file a report is an offence, which carries a fine of up to $5000, unless there is reasonable justification. Service providers can find out more about their responsibilities for mandatory reporting on the Education Council website.

      Service Providers need to make a mandatory report when:

      • An employee who is a registered teacher is dismissed for any reason
      • An employee who is a teacher resigns from a teaching position if, within the 12 months preceding the resignation, the employer had advised the teacher that it was dissatisfied with, or intended to investigate, any aspect of the teacher’s conduct or competence
      • An employee who is a registered teacher ceases to be employed by the employer, and within the following 12 months the employer receives a complaint about the teacher's conduct or competence while he or she was an employee
      • the employer has reason to believe that an employee who is a teacher has engaged in serious misconduct
      • the employer is satisfied that, despite completing competence procedures with the teacher, the registered teacher has not reached the required competence level.

      Information on mandatory reporting to the Education Council


  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      The service may need to consider having a procedure to follow whereby the potential employee/contractor can be asked to declare in writing their fitness to perform the role as advertised. The service will need to identify in what circumstances the service may deem it necessary to request a medical reference.

      Support for Educator professional development can take many forms:

      • Readings
      • Role modelled practice
      • Observation
      • Professional discussions
      • Manuals
      • Kaiako/kaumatua
      • Community members
      • Reflective workbooks
      • Diaries
      • Workshops
      • Buddy systems
      • Community events/speakers
      • Tertiary study.