About the Early Childhood Council


The Early Childhood Council (ECC) was formed in 1990 from the amalgamation of the Licensed Childcare Centres Federation and the Associated Childcare Council. It became an officially incorporated society in 1991.


The ECC's primary purpose is to:

  • represent the interests of independent early childhood centres
  • promote the provision of quality early childhood education services.


Membership is voluntary, and open to all licensed independent early childhood centres managed by community owned, privately owned and voluntary groups. The ECC is fully funded by membership subscriptions. With almost 1,200 financial members we are New Zealand's largest early childhood employers' organisation. Our members employ over 7,000 staff and provide early childhood education for over 50,000 New Zealanders under age 5.

The ECC membership is diverse, ranging from centres in small rural towns to those in large cities and from centres as small as 10 licensed places to a number of 50-place centres with multiple licenses. Seventy percent of member centres are owner-operated; the remaining 30% are community owned.

While most of our centres reflect no special character, a number reflect a variety of specialised educational philosophies, including religious affiliations, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Pasifika, Rudolf Steiner and Māori.


The ECC is governed by its constitution, which provides for an Executive Committee elected by members. The Executive Committee comprises a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and five Executive Members and up to three Patrons (elected by the life members).


The ECC provides a range of benefits and services to its members, including:

  • a range of goods and services from preferred suppliers, including finance, accounting and taxation services, audit services, insurance services, e-portfolio services, energy supply, office and teaching supplies, hygiene and cleaning supplies, technology solutions (photocopiers, printers, etc)
  • regular news updates
  • a comprehensive information and help library accessed via our website on every topic from setting up a centre, managing, marketing, compliance and much, much more
  • over 200 freely downloadable tools and templates, updated annually, to help your centre operate successfully and comply with the many requirements
  • the quarterly Swings & Roundabouts magazine
  • a range of surveys on topics of importance to the sector so your view can be heard
  • The Early Childhood Council Annual Conference, attracting hundreds of member and non-member participants
  • Free 15-minute employment law and accounting help lines
  • A comprehensive selection of PD workshops for management and staff
  • Information and PD webinars

For a full range of available benefits see the Full Member Benefits section and our Preferred Suppliers.

The National Office is based in Wellington, New Zealand.

See our Annual Reports for the years 201920202021 and 2022.

See our Constitution and Rules.

Follow the below links for more information on the ECC:

Links to our other websites:

Join us on Facebook, and join our closed Facebook Group for owners, managers and governance committee members