Policies and other guiding documents are a key part of a centre’s communication about its philosophy, values, and how the centre operates safely and maintains quality. These documents are also needed to ensure compliance with the Ministry of Education ECE Licensing Criteria, and other legislation, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, the Children’s Act 2014, and the Food Act 2014.
A policy is a statement intended to influence and determine decision, actions, and other matters. It describes how things are done at your centre. A procedure is a systematic and particular way of completing a task, such as changing a nappy.
Staff and managers frequently make decisions and take actions to achieve certain outcomes. It is good practice to anticipate events that may occur, research and reflect on effective strategies, define objectives, and prepare policy statements.
Policy statements are necessary to ensure that
- key legislative requirements are met,
- there is a shared understanding amongst those involved in the service, and
- there is a regular review process that ensures reflection and improvement based on knowledge takes place.
Policy-making is usually the responsibility of the decision-makers in a centre. A consultation process may include seeking the views of others, such as parents of a centre. The purpose of consultation is to ensure that groups affected by a policy have had their views heard and considered. It does not mean seeking agreement or consensus.
Licensing criteria are used to assess how the services comply with the regulations; our templates are intended to help members achieve compliance.
Below, you will find the most important information about the four licensing criteria areas:
- Curriculum: The Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 set the curriculum standard. This standard requires every licensed service provider to plan, implement, and evaluate a curriculum that is consistent with the curriculum framework and Te Whāriki.
- Premises and Facilities: The premises and facilities standard requires every licensed service provider to use premises and facilities that are suitable for the age range of the children attending, and that the premises provide sufficient and suitable space for a range of activities. Premises and facilities have to allow for appropriate curriculum implementation and safe and healthy practices.
- Health and Safety: The health and safety practices standard requires that every licensed service provider take all reasonable steps to promote the good health and safety of children enrolled in the service. The standard also requires that all reasonable steps are taken that procedures are in place to deal with fire, earthquakes and other emergencies.
- Governance, Management and Administration: This standard requires that every licensed service provider is effectively governed and managed in accordance with good management practices. Services should have regard to any statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP), collaborate regularly with the parents and family of children enrolled, and make adequate information available to parents.
Using our templates
Access our templates and resources via the Member Portal. When using a template, you will need to adapt it to reflect your individual centre’s circumstances. We strongly recommend involving your work team in discussions about adapting the templates.