1. Any person authorised by the Secretary of Education must be allowed entry to inspect the premises of an ECE licensed service. A warrant does not have to be provided.
- The 'inspector' may inspect, copy, or remove any documents belonging to the licensed service, and return the documents or a copy of them to the service as soon as "practicable, unless to do so would prejudice any investigation being or to be carried out by the Ministry".
- Observe any of the children present.
Note that the Ministry of Education has power to inspect without warrant under Section 319B of the Education Act but the Act does not specify if this can be done with or without prior notification or warning. The Act specifies inspection is to be carried out "at any reasonable time” suggesting that perhaps the inspector would need to need to check with the service first what a reasonable time would be.
2. Inspection with a warrant may take place in the case of a premises that is believed to be operating as an early childhood education and care service without a licence. Inspection must take place within 4 weeks of the warrant being issued.
3. Any person (the service provider and staff) commits an offence (and may be fined up to $2,000) who obstructs, hinders, resists, or deceives a person authorised by the Secretary of Education to enter the premises.