Starting a centre-based ECE service

Click on the links below for information on starting a centre-based licensed early learning service.

Early childhood education and care regulations

Licensed early childhood education (ECE) and care centres are required to comply with the regulatory standards and criteria set out in the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008(external link) and Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008.

The guidance provided with each criterion is a starting point to show how services can meet the requirements.

A licensed early childhood education and care centre is eligible to receive government funding, and must comply with the Ministry of Education funding rules in order to do so.

The quality of the education and care provided by the service is also reviewed regularly by the Education Review Office.(external link)

Service providers can talk to their local Ministry of Education office to request the licensing assessment tool for centre-based ECE services or find out more about early childhood regulations and criteria.