Annual plan

All licensed early childhood services must have an annual plan that identifies 'who', 'what', and 'when' in relation to key tasks the service intends to undertake each year, and how key tasks will have regard to the Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP).  

An annual plan must show the Ministry of Education how the service intends to ensure ongoing compliance with all regulatory requirements and criteria.


There must be a written statement of philosophy to guide the service's operation.  

The philosophy statement must express the service's beliefs, values, and attitudes about providing early childhood education and care.

Self-review and internal evaluation 

There must be an on-going process of self-review and internal evaluation by the people involved in the service to maintain and improve the quality of education and care.  

A documented self-review process needs to include a schedule showing timelines for planned review of different areas of operation and the recorded outcomes. Different areas of operation a service reviews may include, for example, learning and teaching practices, philosophy, policies, and procedures. 

The recorded outcomes must also show how the service has regard for the Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) in its operation.

Parent Involvement 

The service must be able to show what and how parents have been given opportunities to contribute to developing and reviewing operational documents.

Services must also let parents know about any planned reviews and consultation. As it is not explained what can be classified as planned reviews and consultation this requirement may be assumed to mean that any and all changes (e.g., to staffing, to how morning-teas are organised, etc.) planned by the service should be communicated in writing to parents before implementation. 

CAUTION: This page and the information here is provided as part of the My ECE Guide to Regulations for Early Childhood Education Services (The Guide).  The Guide does not purport to be a full and accurate interpretation of all statutory provisions relating to early childhood education services. While best efforts have been used in preparing this guide, no representations or warranties of any kind are made and My ECE assumes no liabilities of any kind with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the content. Please note that the Government and Ministry of Education may change, update, or alter any of the requirements at any time.  Please help to keep the information on this page up to date by letting us know of changes that need to be made. Thank you!  Kia pai te rā

My ECE Guide to Regulations for Early Childhood Education Services (Centres and Home-based ECE)
Prepared by Dr Sarah Alexander and Warwick Marshall

Last reviewed: 1 October 2022