Establishing a certificated playgroup

'Establishing a certificated playgroup' has been developed to guide parents through the process of establishing a playgroup. It contains information to help you set up a quality playgroup in your community.

The Ministry of Education employs staff in its regional offices to work with parents establishing playgroups and assist them to work towards certification.

Their particular focus is on the set up, delivery and maintenance of quality early childhood education programmes for children.

Contact your local Ministry of Education office if you are interested in establishing a certificated playgroup.

Local Ministry of Education offices


The following is an explanation or definition of terms that have been used in this publication:

Parent means:

I. the person (or people) responsible for having the role of providing day-to-day care for the child, and
II. may include a biological or adoptive parent, step parent, partner of a parent of a child, legal guardian or member of the child’s family, whānau, or other culturally recognised family group.

Educator means the person with the designated role of providing education and care directly to children in his or her care, and attends to the health and safety of those children.

Coordinator means the person who has primary responsibility for overseeing the education and care, comfort, and health and safety of the children, and providing professional leadership and support to educators within the service.

Regulation 19: Ratios standard

The ratios standard requires the service provider for every certificated playgroup to ensure that:

(a) more than half of the children attending on any occasion have a parent or caregiver present in the same play area at the same time, and
(b) the total number of children attending on any occasion is not greater than 4 times the number of parents and caregivers present in the same play area at the same time.