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About the consultation

As part of tranche two of the Early Learning Regulatory Review, we consulted on proposals to amend the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, including:

  • Allowing for new conditions to be added to a service’s provisional licence;  
  • Defining ‘permanently ceased to operate’ for the purpose of cancelling a service provider’s licence; 
  • Allowing the Secretary to, at their discretion, grant a service provider the ability to temporarily close their service for a period of up to three months on application; and  
  • Defining ‘locally based’ for persons responsible in licensed home-based education and care services. 

The proposed changes were generally well supported from both the survey and written submissions, although the responses were much more mixed for the proposal to define ‘locally based’.

A summary of the consultation feedback can be found below:

Overview of proposals (closed)

A brief overview of each proposal is below. The full consultation discussion documents, along with translated summaries of these proposals, can be found at the bottom of this page. 

Consultation discussion documents and translated summaries of proposals

Proposal 1: Allowing conditions to be added to an existing provisional licence

This proposal sought to amend regulations so that additional conditions can be added to a provisional licence, at the discretion of the Secretary for Education where this is considered to be fair and appropriate, to be met by a new deadline, but no later than 12-months from when the licence was reclassified as provisional.

Proposal 2: Providing a definition of ‘permanently ceased to operate’ for the purpose of cancelling licences

This proposal sought to amend regulations so that a service has ‘permanently ceased to operate’ when:

  1. The service provider has notified the Ministry of Education that it has permanently ceased to operate; or
  2. The Ministry of Education is made aware that a service has not been operating for a defined minimum period as evidenced by two or more of the following criteria:
    1. There being no children enrolled and/or attending the service; or
    2. There being no staff employed or engaged and working in the service; or
    3. The service provider has not claimed early childhood education funding.

As part of this proposal, we consulted on the minimum time period for when a service has not been in operation before it is deemed to have permanently ceased to operate, as three months or more (option 1) or six months or more (option 2).

Proposal 3: Providing for temporary service closures

This proposal sought to amend regulations to allow the Secretary to grant a service provider, on application, approval to temporarily close the service for a period of up to three months, with the possibility of extension upon request.

This is currently enabled through operational practice but is not set out in regulations.

Proposal 4: Defining ‘locally based’ for licensed home-based education and care services

This proposal sought to amend regulations to define ‘locally based’ for licensed home-based education and care services as when the person responsible must:

  1. either reside, or have a permanent place of business from which they carry out their daily responsibilities, in the same local area as the educator(s) for which they are responsible
  2. are in sufficiently close proximity to the educator(s) and children for which they are responsible to be able to fulfil the obligations of their role, including but not limited to overseeing the day-to-day education and care, comfort, and health and safety of the children 
  3. can be contacted by the educator(s) for whom they are responsible at all times those educators are providing education and care during the operating hours of the licensed early childhood service; and  
  4. can attend in person, within a reasonable travel time for the location, if requested to do so by the educator to ensure the health and safety of children or if otherwise required in the event of an emergency.

The proposed changes will provide services and the wider ECE sector with more clarity and certainty on licensing and enforcement requirements. These changes will also improve the Ministry’s ability to respond promptly and directly in situations where services with provisional licences have additional compliance issues, and when services have temporarily or permanently ceased to operate. These changes will also ensure that educators and children in home-based education and care services receive appropriate oversight and supervision from a suitably qualified person in a timely manner, which includes the person responsible being able to be there in person if and when they are needed.

Consultation documents (closed)

Download the full consultation documents:



Summaries of the consultation documents (closed)

Download the summary documents:

Additional tranche two proposals

Locally based for persons responsible in home-based services

More information

The online hui was held on Thursday 9th February 2023, from 5-6pm to discuss the proposed changes.

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