Establishing a certificated puna kōhungahunga (Māori language playgroup)

"Te piko o te māhuri Tera te tipu o te rakau - The bow in the branch is indicative of how the tree will grow."

'Establishing a Certificated Puna Kōhungahunga' is a guide for whānau who want to set up a puna kōhungahunga.

Ministry of Education staff are available to work with whānau to set up a puna kōhungahunga and to get certification. Their focus is on quality early childhood education programmes for children.

If you are interested in setting up a certificated puna kōhungahunga contact your local Ministry of Education office. 

Licensing Criteria Cover

Getting certification

Staff at your local Ministry of Education office can help you with the certification process. If you have any questions or need help to get started don’t hesitate to contact them.

The Education (Playgroups) Regulations 2008 and the Certification Criteria for Playgroups 2008 are the documents you need to find out about all the requirements and standards a puna kōhungahunga must meet to get certification and to get Ministry of Education funding. You can find a copy of these at Licensing criteria for ECE services.

There are five standards your puna kōhungahunga will need to comply with:

  1. Curriculum: there are two criteria; one requires the puna kōhungahunga to have an education programme based on the Ministry’s curriculum framework, the other requires that a procedure is in place for positive guidance of the behaviour of tamariki.
  2. Premises and facilities: there are eight criteria; these include the design and layout of premises, outdoor space, furniture and equipment, toilet/hand washing and drying facilities.
  3. Health and safety: there are 10 criteria; these include emergency management and evacuation procedures, hazard management and maintaining good health and safety practices at the puna kōhungahunga.
  4. Management and administration: there are 5 criteria: these include procedures and records that deal with financial management, enrolment and attendance, and involvement of mātua in decision making.
  5. Ratios: this requires that more than half the tamariki attending any session have a mātua or caregiver present in the same play area at the same time. At the very least there must be one adult for every four tamariki present in the same play area at the same time.

Your group must fill out an application form before the Ministry of Education can do a certification assessment. Staff at your local Ministry office will arrange to visit your venue to see whether the puna kōhungahunga meets the Ministry’s requirements.

Types of certificate

There are two types of certificates:

  1. Interim: a puna kōhungahunga must meet the ratios of parents to children standard and the premises and facilities standard. It must also be able to meet all other criteria for certification within 12 months. An interim certificate only lasts 12 months.
  2. Full: all certification criteria must be met. You will need to apply for a new certificate every 3 years.