Person Responsible requirements

Learn about the Person Responsible staff requirements for teacher-led, centre-based early learning services.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther


  • Teacher-led, centre-based Early Learning Services
  • Other Early Learning Services
  • Educators, Teachers and Kaiako
  • Service Managers

Teacher-led, centre-based early learning services must follow specific rules regarding Persons Responsible, in order to meet licensing criteria.

The Person Responsible role

From 9 January 2020, primary-qualified teachers holding a current practising certificate are also permitted to be the Person Responsible in teacher-led centre-based services at any time. This will not change the Person Responsible requirements for playcentres, home-based and hospital-based services, and ngā kōhanga reo (except those licensed as teacher-led, centre-based services).

Who is the Person Responsible and what does the role involve?

All licensed early learning services are required to have a Person Responsible. There must be at least one Person Responsible for every 50 children in attendance. Each Person Responsible must be nominated for the role by their service provider.

In teacher-led, centre-based services, the Person Responsible is directly involved in and primarily responsible for, the day-to-day education and care, comfort and health and safety of the children. They are also required to supervise children and other teaching staff in attendance.

Who can be a Person Responsible?

Previously, the Person Responsible needed to hold an ECE qualification and a current practising certificate. However, from 9 January 2020, teacher-led centre-based services have also been able to use primary qualified teachers with a current practising certificate for the Person Responsible role.

How will this change affect teacher-led centres?

This change is designed to ease pressure on teacher-led centre-based services, as it should enhance roster flexibility.

Will this change affect the quality of education?

We do not expect this change to affect the quality of education. In teacher-led centre-based services, primary qualified teachers are required to apply pedagogical approaches consistent with Te Whāriki. Service providers are also more likely to nominate primary and ECE qualified teachers for the Person Responsible role if they believe that person has a good understanding of ECE pedagogy, Te Whāriki and the licensing requirements.

Haven’t primary-qualified teachers been able to teach in teacher-led centres since 2010?

Yes. Since November 2010, primary-qualified teachers have counted as qualified and certificated teachers for funding purposes. When this change was made there was no explicit consideration given to allowing primary-qualified teachers to be a Person Responsible.

How does this impact the 50% qualification requirement?

There is no change to the requirement for teacher-led centre-based services to employ 50% ECE qualified staff. Primary-qualified teachers are not able to be counted in the 50% qualification requirement.

A Person Responsible can count towards the 50% qualification requirement, but only if they hold a recognised ECE teaching qualification.

See more information on the difference between qualification requirements

Why did we make this change?

We received a proposal from the sector that primary-qualified teachers should be allowed to be the Person Responsible in teacher-led centre-based services. After meeting with representatives from four peak bodies, the Minister of Education asked the Ministry of Education to consult on two proposals which would allow primary-qualified teachers to be a Person Responsible in teacher-led, centre-based services. 81% of respondents agreed that primary-qualified teachers should be able to act as the Person Responsible. Of the two proposals, there was more support for primary-qualified teachers to be in the role at any time, rather than only at specific times.

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback