First aid qualifications for early learning services and kōhanga reo

You must provide a safe learning environment by ensuring that your staff have first-aid knowledge.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • All Early Learning Services
  • Service Managers
  • Educators, Teachers and Kaiako
  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau

Early learning services have a statutory requirement to have first aid qualified staff, as is stated in the Education and Training Act 2020.


Early childhood education (ECE) centres and kōhanga reo must have one first aid qualified person present for every 25 children attending, at all times. For home-based services, a first-aid-qualified adult must be present at all times while children are attending.

The licensing criteria for first-aid qualifications are below:

HS22 condition clause

The HS22 condition clause is for home-based services where a new educator’s access to first aid training is limited due to circumstances beyond the service provider’s control. 

In such cases, service providers must ensure that their educators:

  • have knowledge of first aid
  • gain a first aid qualification within four months of starting work at the service.

When the HS22 condition clause is evoked, staff must still gain a first aid qualification within four months of starting work at the service.

Read further operational guidelines about when this condition applies and how to assess an educator's first aid knowledge.

Operational guidelines for home-based early learning services

This allowance is to meet the requirements of Regulation 46(1)(a) in the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008(external link).

What is a first aid qualification?

To be recognised as a qualified first aider, an adult must meet one of the following requirements:

  • have a current New Zealand Qualifications Authority  (NZQA) approved first aid qualification
  • be a registered medical practitioner or nurse with a current practising certificate
  • be a qualified ambulance officer or paramedic.

If a child is injured, any required first aid must be administered or supervised by an adult meeting these qualification requirements.

Get the right first aid qualification

First aid qualifications must:

There are a number of unit standards available that provide a first aid qualification to meet our requirements. These are:

For centre-based services and kōhanga reo:

  • 6401 – Provide first aid, and
  • 6402 – Provide resuscitation level 2.

For home-based services:

  • 25459  Provide first aid for young children.

Core health unit standards 6401 and 6402 (detailed above for centre-based services and kōhanga reo) may also be considered for home-based services, however, note that they cover first aid for children and adults.

We also recommend that staff complete unit 6400, which will teach staff how to manage first aid in emergency situations.

Training providers

View first aid training providers with consent to assess unit standards 6401, 6402, 6400, and 25459 on the First Aid page of the NZQA website.(external link)

Training providers must report completed first aid qualifications to the NZQA so that they can add to a person's Record of Achievement.

Qualification reviews

The first aid unit standards are currently under review by the standard-setting body, the Skills Organisation.

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