Starting a service
All about starting a new early learning service.
|Level of compliance||Main audience||Other|
Read this information if you are thinking about starting a new service.
- Focusses for services
- Where to begin
- Other helpful information
- Where to from here
- Further information and resources
A service must focus on providing:
- an excellent quality of staff-child interaction
- interesting learning resources and programmes that engage children
- a supportive environment in which children can work together
- engagement and effective communication with families, whānau and communities
- positive home learning environments that reinforce learning.
- All licensed services and certificated playgroups are regulated by the Ministry of Education.
- Services must meet minimum standards of education and care in order to operate.
- The Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 are the regulations that must be met by services in order for them to hold a licence and to receive government funding.
- Licensing criteria state the day-to-day requirements that different service types must meet in order to meet the regulated standards.
- Playgroups are required to meet the Education (Playgroups) Regulations 2008 in order to be certificated and receive government funding. The certification criteria state the requirements playgroups must meet in order to meet the playgroup standards.
- The 2008 regulatory system prescribes a national curriculum framework for early childhood education – for licensed early childhood education services and certificated playgroups.
- The curriculum framework consists of the principals and strands of Te Whāriki in both English and Māori.
- The Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, the Education (Playgroups) Regulations 2008 curriculum strands and related licensing and certification criteria are linked to the curriculum framework and state further requirements needed to support quality curricula for children.
- To supplement this, The Ministry has published Kei tua o te pae/Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars.
To start a new early learning service, you will need to follow these steps:
|1||Choose the right type of service.|
|2||Visit other services in your area to determine what types of services already exist in your community.|
|3||Carry out a community needs assessment.
|4||Develop a draft budget.
|5|| Engage with your community and discuss the estimated fees.
Community-based ECE services
Models of ownership and operation
- Some services are community-based. These may be ‘standalone’ or may come under the umbrella of a larger organisation.
- Others are privately owned and operated.
Definition of community-based ECE
- Community-based early learning services belong to and are governed by their communities.
- They have assets that are owned by and will return to those communities.
- They cannot distribute financial gains to their members.
Types of community-based organisations include:
- incorporated societies
- charitable trusts
- statutory trusts
- community trusts.
Community-based also includes ECE services owned by public bodies (for example government departments, councils or Crown entities).
Establishing a community group
It is strongly recommended that you ensure your group is formally established as a legal entity and is governed by a constitution.
- Guidance and forms can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's
Incorporated Societies Register(external link)
- Professional financial, legal and management advice should be accessed early in the process.
- Some organisations provides resources to support you to write constitutions, register as charity, run a business or get grants.
- There are benefits in registering under the Charities Act 2005. You can find out more on the website of the Charities Commission(external link).
Help from other agencies and government departments
|Agencies/ Government Departments||Services they provide|
|The Social Development Partners(external link)||
|CommunityNet Aotearoa(external link)||
|The Charities Commission(external link)||
|The Companies Office(external link)||
|The Department of Internal Affairs(external link)||Administers:
|Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (external link)||
The following links provide detailed guidance about starting specific types of ECE services.
- Starting a centre-based service
- Starting a home-based service
- Establishing a playgroup
- Establishing a puna kōhungahunga
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