Establishing a centre-based service
Licensed early childhood education and care centres
This information is a guide for service providers interested in establishing a licensed early childhood education and care centre.
The 1989 Education Act definition of an early childhood education and care centre
An early childhood education and care centre is defined in the 1989 Education Act as “premises used regularly for the education or care of 3 or more children (not being children of the persons providing the education or care, or children enrolled at a school being provided with education and care before or after school) under the age of 6 –
- by the day or part of a day; but
- not for any continuous period of more than 7 days.”
Early Childhood Education and Care regulations
Licensed early childhood education and care centres are required to comply with the regulatory standards and criteria set out in the:
The Lead website provides guidance for each criteria of the regulations. The guidance 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.
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