Cyber security for early childhood centres

Good practice advice for all early learning services regarding cyber security and managing information systems.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • All early learning services 
  • Service managers
  • Educators, teachers and kaiako

Reduce the risk to your children and protect sensitive information by strengthening your early learning services’ cyber security. 


To keep your information safe and protect children from harm, regularly discuss cyber security as part of your service’s agenda. Cyber security should be seen as more than ‘just an IT issue’ and treated as a risk for the whole organisation. 

There are two main areas to focus on:

  1. Protecting your children from harm. Make sure:
    1. your network has content filtering (or equivalent) in place1
    2. your children know how to keep themselves safe online234.
  2. Protecting your information and information systems from being compromised.

Here are some initial actions you can take to strengthen your information security and reduce the risk of cyber-attacks:

  • Use complex, hard to guess passwords (a combination of numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and symbols and/or phrases with a minimum of eight characters).
  • Use separate passwords for work and personal systems.
  • Back up important data regularly, and store it securely.
  • Update your software and devices as soon as patches become available.
  • Install antivirus software on your organisation’s devices.

If you are part of a larger organisation with more complex IT systems, there may be a wider range of information and cyber security risks for you to consider.

Helpful resources

The links below are mostly school focused, however they are still relevant to early learning services and provide great advice.

  1. Read our security advice for schools. Most of the advice is applicable to ECE services too.
  2. See what your network provider can do to help you manage network safety and security.
  3. Check out the information provided on our website about incorporating technology into play, which also has some links to some great resources, such as Hectors World. 
    Play idea: Information communication technology (ICT) – Ngā rau tangotango
  4.  Netsafe Kit for young people(external link) is a free set of resources which supports young people and educators to create a safe online environment.
  5. Our website has a digital technology safe use guide for schools.(external link)
  6. For further help on strengthening your service’s cyber security, including advice for reporting cyber security incidents, visit the Keeping your school network safe(external link) guide on the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) NZ website.

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