Licensing criteria for kōhanga reo

Kōhanga reo run a total immersion te reo Māori whānau (family) programme for mokopuna (young children) from birth to six years of age to be raised within its whānau Māori, where the language of communication will be Māori.

The operation and decision making of each kōhanga reo are the responsibility of the whole whānau within the guidelines set down by Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board. The trust and the kōhanga reo whānau administer the kaupapa to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the mokopuna and the whānau and to ensure the survival of te reo Māori.

Kōhanga reo are currently chartered to Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust and licensed by the Ministry of Education under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008.

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008(external link)

The Ministry does not provide guidance for the kōhanga reo licensing criteria. Guidance is available upon request directly from Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust.

Contact – Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust(external link)

A copy of the criteria can be downloaded from the right-hand column.

The licensing criteria were last updated in April 2021.

Te Tāpiringa tuarua : Ngā Mate tino hopuhopu: Paearu HS26 | Appendix 2: Infectious diseases for criterion HS26

DiseaseTime between exposure and sicknessThis disease is spread by...Early signsInfectious periodAction to be taken
Chicken Pox 10-21 days

Coughing and sneezing.

Also direct contact with weeping blisters.

Fever and spots with a blister on top of each spot. From up to 5 days before appearance of rash until lesions have crusted (usually about 5 days). Exclude from service for 1 week from date of appearance of rash.
* Hepatitis A

15-50 days

Average 28-30 days

From food or water contaminated with faeces from an infected person; or by direct spread from an infected person.

Nausea, stomach pains, general sickness.

Jaundice a few days later.

From about 2 weeks before signs appear until 1 week after jaundice starts. Exclude from service for 7 days from onset of jaundice.
* Hepatitis B

6 weeks-6 months

Usually 2-3 months

Close physical contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. Similar to Hepatitis A. The blood and body fluids may be infectious several weeks before signs appear and until weeks or months later. A few are infectious for years. Exclude from service until well or as advised by GP.

* Measles

(Immunisation usually prevents this illness)

Usually 10 days to onset, 14 days to rash. Coughing and sneezing. Also direct contact with the nose / throat secretions of an infected person. Running nose and eyes, cough, fever and a rash. From 5 days before and until 5 days after the rash begins. Exclude from service for at least 4 days from onset of rash.

* Meningitis


2-10 days

Usually 3-4 days

Close physical contact such as kissing, sleeping in the same room.

Generally unwell, fever, headache, vomiting, sometimes a rash.

Urgent treatment is important!

Until 24 hours after starting treatment with antibiotics. Exclude from service until well, with no symptoms at least 48 hours.

* Mumps

(Immunisation usually prevents this illness)

Usually 16-18 days. Contact with infected saliva - coughing, sneezing, kissing and sharing food or drink. Pain in jaw, then swelling in front of ear, and fever. For one week before swelling appears until 9 days after. Exclude from service until 9 days after swelling develops, or until child is well, whichever is sooner.
Ringworm 10-14 days.

Contact with infected person's skin or with their clothes or personal items.

Also through contaminated floors and shower stalls.

Flat spreading ring-shaped lesions. While lesions are present, and while fungus persists on contaminated material. Restrict contact activities e.g. gym and swimming until lesions clear.
* Salmonella

6-72 hours

Usually 12-36 hours.

Under-cooked food like chicken, eggs and meat; food or water contaminated with faeces from an infected person or animal; or direct spread from an infected person or animal. Stomach pain, fever and diarrhoea. Until well, and possibly weeks or months after. Exclude from service until well with no further diarrhoea.
Streptococcal sore throat 1-5 days. Usually contact with the secretions of a strep sore throat. Headache, vomiting, sore throat. For 24-48 hours after treatment with antibiotics is started. Exclude from service until 24 hours after antibiotics started.

*Whooping cough

(Immunisation usually prevents this illness)


4-10 days. Coughing. Adults and older children may pass on the infection to babies. Running nose, persistent cough followed by 'whoop', vomiting or breathlessness.

From runny nose stage and for 3 weeks after the onset of cough, if not treated with antibiotics.

Or until 5 days of antibiotic treatment.
Exclude from service until 21 days from onset of coughing or after 5 days antibiotics.

Note: Conditions marked with an asterisk (*) are notifiable diseases.