Code of Children’s Rights in Early Childhood Education

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The Code of Children’s Rights in Early Childhood Education is informed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1992 (an international agreement) and the New Zealand Human Rights Act 1993. It reflects research and knowledge on quality early childhood education and care for infants and young children.

An early childhood service that respects children and honours their rights will tell you of their commitment to this. It can display a copy of the Code of Children’s Rights at its front entrance, include a copy for families in its enrolment information pack, and refer to the Code on its public website. 

The Code of Children’s Rights in Early Childhood Education

children's rights to be safe and quality education and care

Every infant, toddler, and young child has rights, and this includes within early childhood education services (as made plain by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1992 and the New Zealand Human Rights Act 1993).


  1. To be kept safe from harm, including protection from child abuse, bullying, and risks to health.
  2. For their parents, family and whānau to have the opportunity to stay with them and participate in the early childhood programme.
  3. To experience early childhood education and care of the highest standard.
  4. To have continuous, meaningful, and caring relationships with the adults responsible for their care and education in the service.
  5. To receive skilled care and learning opportunities appropriate to meeting needs and personal choices.
  6. To be included regardless of size, special ability, or disability and be supported to exercise independence and develop self-esteem.
  7. To receive positive guidance free from coercion and discrimination.
  8. To be treated with respect including being involved in all decisions affecting them by receiving information in a way that is understandable, and given opportunities to express views, ask questions and receive truthful responses.
  9. To complain and have complaints as put forward by parents/caregivers taken seriously.
  10. To have their personal privacy respected, for example when using the bathroom as well as privacy of information.

Copies may be downloaded and printed.


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