All NZ early childhood centres must at minimum have and/or do the following:


fireman1. A documented and current fire evacuation scheme is approved by the New Zealand Fire Service.


2. Designated assembly areas for evacuation purposes outside the building keep children safe from further risk.


3. Heavy furniture, fixtures and equipment that could fall or topple causing serious injury or damage is secured.


4. There is a written emergency plan and supplies to ensure the care and safety of children and adults at the service. The plan must include evacuation procedures for the service’s premises, which apply in a variety of emergency situations and which are consistent with the Fire Evacuation Scheme for the building:

• An evacuation procedure for the premises.
• A list of safety and emergency supplies and resources sufficient for the age and number of children and adults at the service and details of how these will be maintained and accessed in an emergency.
• A communication plan for families and support services. 
• Evidence of review of the plan on an, at least, annual basis and implementation of improved practices as required.

5. Adults providing care and education understand relevant emergency drills.


6. Emergency drills are carried out at least three-monthly with the children and a record is kept. 


7. A record of emergency drills carried out is kept along with evidence of how evaluation of the drills has informed the annual review of the service’s emergency plan.


A police vet is required of every person who:

  • is appointed, or is going to be be appointed to work in a paid or unpaid position at a centre during normal hours and is not a registered teacher or has limited authority teach.  A police vet must be applied for within 2 weeks of the person starting and the person must not have unsupervised access to children until a police vet is obtained.
  • is a contractor, or the employee of a contractor, who has or could have unsupervised access to children at the centre. The police vet must be obtained before the person starts.

(Note that registered teachers are police checked as part of the teacher registration process so this is something that the centre is not required to do)

2.  Every three years a further police vet must be conducted on the person.



1.  Any parent or person who intentionally insults, abuses, or intimidates staff from an early childhood centre within the presence or hearing of any child at the centre or where the centre children are gathered, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000.00




1.  Any kindergarten with teachers in the State Sector, whether or not it is known as a free kindergarten, can charge fees for a child to attend. 
(As an education service within the State Sector Act kindergartens traditionally could request donations only.  Note that the change to allow free kindergartens to charge fees - as a private school or other type of private or community-based centre might - was inserted into the Education Act on 1 December 2008.  

Further information is available in an article titled "Kindergarten Changes" published by ChildForum. 
The Kindergarten Regulations (1959) Clause 14 stated "No fee shall be payable in respect of the attendance of a child at a kindergarten". Clause 314A was inserted into the Education Act on 1 December 2008 and reads “fees may be charged in respect of the attendance, of any child at any kindergarten (whether or not it is known or described as a free kindergarten)”. An Amendment Act dated 21 Dec 1990 reads: "Fees may be charged in respect of the attendance, after the commencement of the Education Amendment Act(No. 3) 1990, of any child at any kindergarten (whether or not it is, or is known or described as, a free kindergarten) within the meaning of the Kindergarten Regulations 1959." It added: "Regulation 14 of the Kindergarten Regulations 1959 is hereby consequentially revoked".



1.  When a child is at the centre the child's parent or guardian has a right to enter and be on the premises, except if the parent or guardian:

  • is prohibited from access to the child by a court order
  • has been warned by the centre to stay off the premises under the Trespass Act
  • has a contagious disease or infection likely to have a detrimental effect on children
  • is drunk or under the influence of alcohol or other behaviour altering substance
  • is behaving in ways that the person responsible for running the centre thinks is disrupting the effective operation of the centre. 

(Education Act 1989, Section 53, 319A, Parent’s right of entry.  Note that this applies to Home-based services as well)

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