Person responsible requirements

Learn about the requirements for 'person responsible' staff in teacher-led centre-based, hospital-based and home-based early learning services. In teacher-led, centre-based services, specific rules must be followed to meet licensing criteria.

 Level of compliance    Main audience  Other

          Required

       

  • Teacher-led, centre-based early learning services
  • Hospital-based early learning services
  • Home-based early learning services
  • Educators, teachers and kaiako
  • Service managers

Teacher-led, centre-based services

The person responsible role

All licensed teacher-led centre-based services are required to have 1 person responsible for every 50 children in attendance.

Persons responsible hold a number of important roles. They supervise children and staff and they are directly involved in and primarily responsible for the day-to-day education and care, comfort, health and safety of children attending the service.

Each person responsible must be nominated for the role by their service provider and should be provided with sufficient information and support to understand the role and carry out the duties expected of them.

Who can be a person responsible?

Persons responsible in teacher-led, centre-based services need to have an ECE or primary teaching qualification and a current practising certificate.

From 26 February 2024, persons responsible must also hold a current first aid qualification from a first aid training provider accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority that meets the requirements of HS25.

The person responsible can be included in the requirement in HS25 to have 1 adult holding a current first aid qualification for every 25 children attending.

HS25 First aid qualifications

Who is the person responsible and what does the role involve?

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 attending children (Regulation 3). They are also required to supervise those children and other teaching staff, at all times children are in attendance (Regulation 44(1)(d)(i)).

Regulation 3 – NZ Legislation(external link)

Regulation 44(1)(d)(i)) – NZ Legislation(external link)

Regulation 60 has been added to the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 to provide further clarification of the role of the Person Responsible and the day-to-day duties expected of them.

Regulation 60 – NZ Legislation(external link)

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 – NZ Legislation(external link)

To support current requirements, from 26 February 2024 service providers of teacher-led centre-based services must ensure persons responsible:

  • supervise and are actively involved with children in attendance and staff providing education and care (even when children and staff are located in separate spaces)
  • provide education and care to children in attendance and guidance to staff providing education and care
  • make sure that staff are implementing any prescribed curriculum framework and know how to use it in providing education and care(external link)
  • make sure that day-to-day health and safety risks and hazards are identified, and that appropriate steps are taken to address those risks or hazards when children attend.

What does this mean in practice?

Persons responsible must take an active role in supervising and working with children and staff. This means they should not be engaged in activities that undermine or take them away from their supervision responsibilities, for example, located in an office or undertaking administration duties.

The rerson responsible can be part of the adult-to-child ratios or above ratios.

Regulation 60 recognises that supervision is across the service. But, there is no requirement to assign children or staff to each person responsible or for there to be a person responsible in every room. When a person responsible is supervising across multiple rooms they should be moving across these spaces to enable them to have confidence they are able to fulfil their responsibilities.

How persons responsible will be deployed to meet the requirements of Reg 44(1)(d)(i) and Reg 60 should be evident in the service’s supervision plan or other documentation.

Staff and parents should know who the person responsible is at any one time.

As part of their day-to-day supervision role, the person responsible is required to take an active role in supporting children’s learning. They are also a key person for staff to go to with questions or concerns about the care and education of attending children. It is helpful for them to have knowledge of the regulations and licensing criteria that prescribe the minimum standards the service must meet. 

The person responsible does not have to be the pedagogical leader but must be able to guide and support staff to implement a curriculum that is consistent with the prescribed curriculum framework and designed to enhance the learning and development of all attending children.

Curriculum criteria 1–13

Carrying out daily hazard checks and addressing any identified risks is an important part of ensuring attending children experience a safe and healthy learning environment. The person responsible does not have to carry out the daily checks, however, to meet the requirements of Reg 60 they must know the checks have been carried out and take steps to ensure any associated actions to keep children safe have been taken.

HS 12 Hazard and risk management

HS 17 Excursions

What else do I need to know?

Person responsible requirements must be met at all times children are attending, much like adult-to-child ratios.

The service provider, as the legal entity, retains overall responsibility for the health, safety, wellbeing and education of attending children. Accountability for compliance with regulatory requirements is not the responsibility of the person responsible.

A person responsible can count towards the 50% qualification requirement, if they hold a recognised early childhood education teaching qualification. 

Services must keep records to demonstrate persons responsible hold a current practising certificate. For more information about acceptable evidence of a practising certificate please see the qualification requirements page.

Qualification requirements

Frequently asked questions

Can I have more person’s responsible than the regulatory requirements?

Yes. You can have as many persons responsible above requirements as you want. For example, you may choose to have a person responsible in every room. You will, however, need to have a system or process in place to ensure staff know who the person responsible is at any one time and they are able to provide this information to parents on request.

I already have  a list of all the qualified and certificated teachers displayed in the entrance of the service does this meet the  person responsible requirements?

Displaying a list of all persons who count towards regulated qualification requirements is necessary to meet GMA1. To ensure staff know who the person responsible is at any one time and are able to provide this information to parents on request, there should be a system or process in place.

I have a number of qualified and certificated teachers who are able to be a person responsible, can they just be listed so parents can work through the list?

No. Having a list of all eligible qualified and certificated teachers displayed won't assist staff or parents to identify who the person responsible is at any point in time.

Hospital-based services

The person responsible role

Persons responsible in a teacher-led hospital-based service hold a number of important roles. They have primary responsibility for the education and care of children participating in the service ensuring supervision of children in the activity room and support the health, safety and care of the children.

Who can be a person responsible?

Persons responsible in hospital-based services must have a recognised early childhood education (ECE) teaching qualification and a current practising certificate.

Who is the person responsible and what does the role involve?

The day-to-day duties expected of the person responsible in hospital-based services, have been clarified through the introduction of Regulation 61 to support existing regulations and provide a better understanding of the functions of the role.

Regulation 61 – NZ Legislation(external link)

To support current requirements, from 26 February 2024 persons responsible in licensed hospital-based are required to:

  • supervise, and be actively involved with, children participating in the service, staff providing education and care, and any adults in an activity room (even when children, staff, and adults are located in separate spaces)
  • provide education and care to children participating in the service and guidance to staff providing education and care
  • ensure that staff are implementing any prescribed curriculum framework and know how to use it in providing education and care
  • ensure that there is at least 1 adult present when children are in an activity room.

What does this mean in practice?

Regulation 61 acknowledges that in hospital-based services, education and care can take place in designated activity rooms and at a child’s bedside. It also acknowledges that children and staff will likely be in different rooms.

There is also a requirement for the person responsible to ensure there is an adult in the activity room when children are present in the space. Regulation 61 recognises that a parent or caregiver may be with their child. There is no expectation however that a parent would supervise another person's child.

The person responsible is required take an active role in supporting children’s learning. They are a key person for staff to go to with questions or concerns about the care and education of attending children and therefore they should have knowledge of the regulations and licensing criteria that prescribe the minimum standards the service must meet.

The person responsible does not have to be the pedagogical leader but must be able to guide and support staff to implement a curriculum that is consistent with the prescribed curriculum framework and designed to enhance the learning and development of attending children.

Curriculum criteria C1–C13

What else do I need to know?

Person responsible requirements must be met at all times children are attending, much like adult-to-child ratios.

The service provider, as the legal entity, retains overall responsibility for the health, safety, wellbeing and education of attending children. Accountability for compliance with regulatory requirements is not the responsibility of the person responsible.

A person responsible can count towards the 50% qualification requirement.

Services must keep records to demonstrate persons responsible hold a current practising certificate. For more information about acceptable evidence of a practising certificate please see the qualification requirements page.

Qualification requirements

Home-based-based services

The person responsible role

All licensed home-based services are required to have 1 person responsible for every 50 children in attendance.

Persons responsible hold a number of important roles. They have primary responsibility to oversee the education and care, comfort, health and safety of children attending the service and provide professional leadership and support to educators within the service.

Each person responsible should be provided with sufficient information and support to understand the role and carry out the duties expected of them.

Who can be a person responsible?

Persons responsible in teacher-led home-based services need to have an ECE teaching qualification and a current practising certificate.

Who is the person responsible and what does the role involve?

In teacher-led, home-based services, the person responsible has primary responsibility for overseeing the education and care, comfort, health and safety of the children and provide professional leadership and support to educators within the service (Regulation 3).

Regulation 3 – NZ Legislation(external link)

Persons responsible are also required to make sure that at all times while children attend the service, those children and the adults providing education and care who look after them are supervised by a person responsible (Regulation 44(1)(d)(i)).

Regulation 44(1)(d)(i) – NZ Legislation(external link)

Regulation 62 has been added to the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 to provide further clarification of the role of the person responsible and the day-to-day duties expected of them.

Regulation 62 – NZ Legislation(external link)

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 – NZ Legislation(external link)

To support current requirements, from 26 February 2024 service providers of teacher-led home-based services must ensure persons responsible:

  • take all reasonable steps to observe, support, and provide guidance on the implementation of the prescribed curriculum framework by the service by the service and keep records of these activities
  • provide professional development to educators on a regular basis and keep records of any such activity
  • do not act as a person responsible for more than 1 licensed early childhood service at the same time and for more than 2 licensed early childhood services in a calendar month.

Licensing criteria for home-based ECE services: Curriculum

What does this mean in practice?

Persons responsible are not always in the home with educators and children. There are specific requirements for the role of home-based person responsible to meet in Regulation 28(2). A person responsible's requirements must be met at all times children are attending, including during meal breaks and non-contact periods. 

Persons responsible must provide guidance on the implementation of Te Whāriki to educators including observing and role modelling within homes and alongside children attending, during regular visits.

Persons responsible must provide guidance and support educators to implement the prescribed curriculum framework that is designed to enhance the learning and development of all attending children.

The changes in Regulation 62 clarify that there must also be records of when person responsible observe children and educators and of the professional development undertaken.

Staff and parents should know who the persons responsible are at any one time.

They are a key person for staff/educators and parents to go to with questions or concerns about the care and education of attending children and therefore they should have knowledge of the regulations and licensing criteria that prescribe the minimum standards the service must meet.
(external link)

Curriculum criteria 1–13

What else do I need to know?

The service provider, as the legal entity, retains overall responsibility for the health, safety, wellbeing and education of attending children.

Accountability for compliance with regulatory requirements is not the responsibility of the person responsible.

Persons responsible need to meet requirements of Regulation 28(2).

A person responsible (whether permanent staff or reliever) must not work in more than 2 licensed services in any month. A 'month' can be defined as:

  • a calendar month, for example, August, or
  • a period of time equivalent to a month, for example, 13 March to 12 April. 

Services must keep records to demonstrate persons responsible hold a current practising certificate. Find more information about acceptable evidence of a practising certificate:

Difference between qualification requirements

Qualification requirements

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