Supervision of Children, Supervision of Adults, and Supervision Plan

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Ensuring the supervision of children is a core regulatory requirement.

The Education Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 require of every licensed service that “at all times while children attend the service, those children, and the adults providing education and care who supervise them, are supervised by a Person Responsible; and there is 1 person responsible for every 50 children”- Regulation 44(1)(d).

This means:

  • Children must be supervised by the adults who are providing the education and care. (note: these adults may be ECE trained and qualified or not, as long as overall at the service the staffing ratios and qualification requirements are met).
  • The adults providing the education and care to children must be supervised by a “person responsible” (note: a PR does not have to always be in the same room or home as every adult they are supervising and can come and go as providing overall supervision)

Read more: What are the supervision skills a person needs to have if they are to competently supervise infants and young children?

Specific references to supervision

In the licensing criteria there are some specific references to supervision:

  • Children must be supervised when eating.
  • When children are taken on trips or outings the service must have a written supervision plan specific to the excursion and make sure the plan is followed.
  • The sleeping space for children under 2 years must be located and designed “to allow adequate supervision”.  Children must be (physically) checked for warmth, breathing, and general wellbeing every 5 to 10 minutes in centres, or every 10 to 15 minutes in home-based services, or more frequently according to individual needs.
  • At centres, it is required that sick children in the isolation area are supervised.
  • The premises of centres must be designed and have a layout that supports effective adult supervision of children, so children’s access to indoor and outdoor spaces is not unnecessarily limited.
  • At centres, any adult providing education and care to children who is not qualified to administer first aid must be supervised by a first aid qualified adult.

Home-based homes 

The home-based licensing criteria provide specific supervision requirements.

  • Every educator must ensure they actively supervise children at all times when children are in attendance, and in accordance with the service’s supervision plan.
  • The service must have a written supervision plan that ensures the health, safety and wellbeing of children enrolled. The plan must be specific to the premises and the number, age, abilities and enrolled hours of the children attending and must show how the educator will actively supervise children.  The plan must include:
    • How the premises will be arranged, across all indoor and outdoor spaces likely to be used at any time while children are attending the home, to enhance supervision of children.
    • How children will be supervised while they are; involved in activities or routines (such as sleeping, eating and toileting) in separate parts of the home; using play equipment and resources, both indoors and outdoors; interacting with other people in the home, including visitors; and using technology or while they are in the presence of technology while it is being used by others in the home.

The educator must continue to actively supervise all children present when the coordinator (person responsible for the home-based service) visits.

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 for supervision.

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

Supervision of Children, Supervision of Adults, and Supervision Plan. 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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