First aid qualifications for ECE services and kōhanga reo

Your early childhood education (ECE) centre or kōhanga reo must have one first aid qualified person present for every 50 children attending at all times.

For home-based services there must be a first aid qualified adult present at all times while children are attending. However, there is an allowance for instances where a new educator’s access to first aid training is limited due to circumstances beyond the service provider’s control. In such cases, service providers must ensure their educators:

  • have knowledge of first aid, and
  • gain a first aid qualification within four months of starting work at the service.

Further operational guidelines are available for services about when this condition applies and how to assess an educator's first aid knowledge.

This is to meet the requirements of regulation 46(1)(a) in the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 (external link) .

First aid qualification

To be counted as first aid qualified an adult must:

  • have a current New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) approved first aid qualification
  • be a registered medical practitioner or nurse with a current practising certificate
  • be a qualified ambulance officer or paramedic.

If a child is injured, any required first aid must be administered or supervised by an adult meeting these qualification requirements.

Get the right first aid qualification

First aid qualifications must:

In addition to the mandatory unit standards the Ministry of Education recommends that ECE services and kōhanga reo consider unit standard 6400 (Manage first aid in emergency situations) for their first aiders.

Detailed information on these standards can be found on the First Aid Resources page on the NZQA website (external link) .

Training providers

View first aid training providers with consent to assess against unit standards 6400, 6401 and 6402 (external link)  on the Core Health page of the NZQA website.

View first aid training providers with consent to assess against unit standards 26551, 26552 and 25459 (external link)  on the First Aid page of the NZQA website.

Once you have completed your first aid training, your training provider must report your first aid qualification to the NZQA so they can add this to your Record of Achievement.

International first aid qualifications

If you have an international first aid qualification The Skills Organisation (external link) will need to assess its content to see if it meets New Zealand requirements. If it is approved, you will need to take a refresher course every two years from the date of completion of the original overseas qualification.

Keeping your qualification current

To keep your first aid qualification current you will need to attend a refresher course with a registered first aid provider. See the links in ‘Get the right first aid qualification’.

Expiry of Unit Standards 26551 and 26552

NZQA has recently reviewed first aid unit standards 6400, 6401, 6402, 26551 and 26552.

The review has resulted in the reinstatement of unit standards 6400, 6401 and 6402 and expiry of unit standards 26551 and 26552.

The last date for assessment of unit standards 26551 and 26552 is 31 December 2019.

There are no changes to unit standard 25459 for home-based services.

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