Certification criteria for playgroups

The Education Act 1989 S 309 defines a playgroup as a group that meets on a regular basis to facilitate children's play and in respect of which—

  1. no child attends for more than 4 hours on any day; and
  2. more than half the children attending on any occasion have a parent or caregiver present in the same play area at the same time; and
  3. the total number of children attending on any occasion is not greater than 4 times the number of parents and caregivers present in the same play area at the same time.

Playgroups include Puna Kōhungahunga, cultural playgroups and community language playgroups.

Playgroups are certificated in accordance with the Education Act 1989 under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, which prescribe minimum standards that each certificated playgroup must meet. Certification criteria are used to assess how playgroups meet the minimum standards required by the regulations.

The certification criteria were last updated in May 2016.

A copy of the certification criteria can be downloaded from the right-hand column below.

For each criterion there is guidance to help playgroups meet the required standards.

Licensing Criteria Cover

HS11 Child Protection

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      There is a written child protection policy that meets the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. The policy contains provisions for the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect, and information about how the service will keep children safe from abuse and neglect, and how it will respond to suspected child abuse and neglect.

      The policy must be reviewed every three years.

      Documentation required:

      1. A written child protection policy that contains:
        1. provisions for the service’s identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect;
        2. information about the practices the service employs to keep children safe from abuse and neglect; and
        3. information about how the service will respond to suspected child abuse and neglect.
      2. A procedure that sets out how the service will identify and respond to suspected child abuse and/or neglect.

      Intent:

      Child protection policies support children’s workers to identify and respond to vulnerability, including possible abuse and neglect.

  • Guidance
    • Guidance

      Playgroups must have a child protection policy that meets the Vulnerable Children Act's requirements.

      The policy must:

      • contain provisions on the identification and reporting of neglect and abuse, and
      • be written, and
      • be reviewed every three years.

      To be helpful, the policy should contain definitions of neglect and abuse so that adults can apply these consistently when needed.

      Documentation guidance:

      The Oranga Tamariki website has a publication Safer organisations, Safer children [PDF; 1.06MB] that provides advice on good practice to help  organisations draft high quality child protection policies and review their procedures.

      The guidelines include a review tool to help services identify gaps in current policies, information about what to include in a new policy, as well as example policies including a policy used in an early childhood education setting.

      The policy needs to be consistent with advice provided by CYFS that can be found in the publication called "Working together to keep children and young people safe [PDF, 3 MB]". 

      Adults at the Playgroup require guidelines on:

      • the signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect
      • roles and responsibilities around record keeping and reporting
      • responsibilities to children
      • limitations of their role.