Excursions and Taking Children on Trips and Outings

Share Me

Excursions are when a child or children is taken outside the licensed premises while in the care of the service.  An excursion does not include leaving the premises for the purpose of emergency drills or to get urgent medical attention.

A regular excursion is one that is part of the ongoing programme, and for which parents have agreed at the time of enrolment for their child to be taken on.

A special excursion is any other excursion, and for which parents have agreed for their child to be taken on prior to it taking place. 

Planning excursions

When children go on trips, outings, or excursions the service must:

  • Undertake an assessment and management of risk.  (At centres, it will also be necessary to determine if more adults to the minimum adult-child ratio requirement will be needed according to the assessment of risk)
  • Develop a written supervision plan specific to the excursion and make sure the plan is followed.  
  • Ensure there is a communication system in place to inform “people where the children are, and the adults can communicate with others as necessary”.   (We don’t think this requirement is very clear and suggest it would be clearer if it read:  “communication systems ensure parents of children can know where their children will be at any given time, meaning the adults taking children on an excursion must either carry mobile phones and remain in cell phone coverage and/or have access to a landline phone nearby”.)

Parent permission

For regular excursions, written approval from the parent must be given for their child’s participation (this permission should be given at the time of enrolment).

For special excursions, written approval from the parent must be given prior to the outing taking place.


The service must keep a record of all excursions.  For each excursion the following must be recorded:

  • Names of adults and children involved.
  • Time and date.
  • Location and method of travel.
  • Assessment and management of risk.
  • Adult-child ratios (this is a requirement only for centres).
  • Evidence of parental permission and approval.
  • The signature of the Person Responsible giving approval for the excursion to take place (this is a requirement only for centres).

Person responsible permission

At centres when children leave the premises on a regular or special excursion, the excursion must be approved by the centre’s ‘Person Responsible’ (often this is the centre manager if the centre manager is a qualified and certificated teachers).  This is not a requirement for home-based service excursions.

First Aid 


First aid requirements must be met for children going on an excursion and for those remaining at the centre:

  • One adult for every 25 children (or part thereof) will hold at least a current first aid qualification gained from an NZQA accredited first aid training provider.
  • An injured child is administered first aid or supervised by this adult.


First aid may only be administered to a child by an educator if the educator holds a current First Aid qualification gained from a New Zealand Qualification Authority accredited first aid training provider; or is a registered medical practitioner or nurse with a current practising certificate; or is a qualified ambulance officer or paramedic.

Failing to meet minimum standards

The Ministry of Education needs to know:

  • If you are concerned children’s needs are not being met.
  • If you are concerned a service is not meeting a minimum legal requirement.

READ MORE: How to make a complaint and your options.

CAUTION: This page and the information here is provided as part of the My ECE Guide to Regulations and Licensing Criteria 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

Excursions and Taking Children on Trips and Outings. Published in the My ECE Guide to Regulations and Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education Services, prepared by Dr Sarah Alexander and Warwick Marshall.

Last reviewed: 20 November 2022


Kohanga Reo for children, family and whanau
Options Available to Parents for Childcare

Te Kōhanga Reo

There are over 460 Kōhanga Reo throughout Aotearoa so chances are you will find one in your area. You will find the welcome mat is

Read More »
caring for child, crying, leaving child, self-soothing
Learning and Social-Emotional Issues

Leaving Children to Cry

Self-soothing when a person chooses to be alone and do this is one thing – but leaving children to cry when care should be provided

Read More »
myECE white logo blue back

Join the Parents Council

Are you are parent, grandparent, or caregiver of a child under 6 years?    

Join the ECE Parents Council.   You will receive:

  • A monthly newsletter (free)
  • Survey invitations and notifications of important changes in ECE

We promise not to spam you with rubbish, just useful information.