Starting a centre-based ECE service

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

Roles and responsibilities in a centre-based education and care service

The Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008(external link) define three distinct positions of responsibility in a centre-based ECE service: service provider, contact person and person responsible.

A service provider is a body, agency, or person who or that operates the centre.

  • The service provider is the holder of the licence and is legally responsible for meeting regulatory requirements
  • An application for a licence made on behalf of a service provider must be made by a fit and proper person to be involved in the management of the service as described in the regulations.

The contact person is a person nominated by the service provider to represent its management, and this person’s name is displayed on the Certificate of Licence. The contact person must:

  • be able to respond to the Ministry of Education as soon as practicable on any issue relating to licensing;
  • have authority to act on behalf of the service provider; and
  • reside locally.

A person will generally be considered to ‘reside locally’ if they live within the geographical boundaries serviced by the local Ministry of Education office. Contact your local Ministry of Education office if you are unsure whether the contact person would meet this requirement.

The Person responsible

The person responsible:

  • is one or more persons nominated for the purpose by the service provider, and
  • is directly involved in, and primarily responsible for, the day-to-day education, care, comfort, health and safety of the children, and
  • must supervise the children, and the adults providing education and care, at all times while children attend the service, and
  • must hold an early childhood education or primary teaching qualification recognised by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand for registration purposes, and
  • must hold a current practising certificate.

There must be one person responsible for every 50 children.