Relevant legislation

Relevant Legislation
Ngā Ture Hāngai

Legislation of particular significance to early childhood services includes the following:17

  • The Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Act 1992, which provides compensation of up to 80% of weekly earnings to people who are injured through accident and unable to work.
  • The Building Act 1991 and Building Regulations 1992, which require service premises to be safe environments for children and adults. The Building Act 1991 also requires a building warrant of fitness to be issued each year and displayed in a public place.
  • The Civil Defence Act 1983, which requires services to develop an evacuation plan consistent with their local civil defence plan.
  • The Disabled Persons Community Welfare Act 1975, which requires disabled people to have adequate and reasonable access to premises, parking, and sanitary conveniences and also requires an international access symbol to be displayed.
  • Section 312 of the Education Act 1989, which sets out the legal requirements for a charter, the basis on which a charter may be approved, withdrawn, or cancelled, and the criteria for approving a charter, which require:

    -evidence that management has adequately consulted with parents, whānau, and staff;

    -that a maximum number of places per session is specified;

    -that the procedure for publishing fees for children attending the service is specified;

    -that the procedure for publishing the level of funding received from government is specified;

    -an address for the service’s management.

  • Sections 318 and 327 of the Education Act 1989, which set out when persons from the Ministry of Education, the Education Review Office, and the Ministry of Health can enter and inspect a service and the information that they can request.
  • The Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998, which detail licensing standards for early childhood centres.
  • The Education (Home-based Care) Order 1992, which sets out a code of practice for chartered care arrangers.
  • The Employment Contracts Act 1991, which prohibits any discrimination arising from membership or non-membership of employee organisations and which deals with bargaining procedures, personal grievances,  enforcement of employment contracts, and other related matters.
  • The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987, which requires that water hazards are secure and unable to be reached by children in a service.
  • The Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 1992, which require each service to have an evacuation plan in case of emergencies, such as fire, earthquake, and civil disaster.
  • The Food Hygiene Regulations 1974, which require all food preparation to be safe and which are overseen by area health officers in each region.
  • The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, which requires employers to:

                -take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of staff while at work;

                -have procedures for identifying and eliminating (or, if not possible, minimising or isolating) hazards;

                -keep up-to-date registers of all significant injuries occurring during work hours;

                -provide ready access to appropriate procedures.

  • The Health (Immunisation) Regulations 1995, which allow services to ask parents or caregivers to provide an immunisation certificate for children fifteen months or over or born after January 1995.
  • The Human Rights Act 1993, which:

                -prohibits discrimination in the selection of applicants for employment;

                -protects the rights of staff during employment and its termination;

                -requires employers to develop sexual harassment prevention policies;

                -prohibits discrimination in educational establishments.

  • The Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987, which provides for parental leave for workers.
  • The Privacy Act 1993, which regulates the collection, storage, use, access to, and disclosure of personal information.
  • The Resource Management Act 1991, which requires approval to be gained before a service is established and before its buildings are altered or extended.
  • The Smoke-free Environments Act 1990, which requires employers to have a written policy on smoking that is developed in consultation with staff and reviewed annually and that sets out a formal complaints procedure.

17 For further information about legislation, refer to a Ministry of Education liaison officer.


Last updated: 7 July 2009