Ministry of Education Powers of Entry and Inspection

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Any person authorised by the Secretary of Education has powers of entry and inspection to an early childhood service. The person must be given entry to inspect the premises of an early childhood education licensed service.  A warrant does not have to be provided. 

What powers of entry mean

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.

Inspection with a warrant may take place in the case of a premises that is believed to be operating as a service without a licence.  Inspection must take place within 4 weeks of the warrant being issued.

Any person at the service commits an offence (and may be fined up to $2,000) if they obstruct, hinder, resist, or deceive a person authorised by the Secretary of Education to enter the premises.  (Education and Training Act, 2020, Sections 29, Sections 626, 627).

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

Ministry of Education powers of entry and inspection. 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


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