Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education 

The "Team Up" website by the Ministry of Health is designed for parents and provides helpful information together with electronic brochures regarding early childhood education and other education information.  

In summary, there are two main types of early childhood education in New Zealand:

1. Teacher-led: including Kindergartens, Creche, Day Care and Home Based Care
In teacher-led centres, one or more of the adults providing education and care are registered teachers. All teacher-led centres are licensed and/or chartered. The Government funds the cost of children aged three and four to attend teacher-led Early Childhood Education (ECE) for up to 20 hours a week - this is for up to six hours a day (please refer to the Team Up website for full details of the free 20 hours early childhood education).

2. Parent-led: including Playcentres and Play Groups
Parent-led services such as playcentres provide quality, low cost early childhood education. Playcentres are run as parent co-operatives, and parents are closely involved in both running the centre and working with the children during session times. Each individual Playcentre sets their own fees/donations according to their community. According to Playcentre Association website, the average cost can range between $00.00- $50.00 per 10 week term.


As a general guide only, early childhood care costs are approximately NZ$3.50-$7.50 per hour in our region, with rates for full time care also available. Please contact providers directly for current fees and further information.

NZ's Work and Income Working for Families Scheme also offers some early childhood education subsidies or childcare assistance, for eligible families.

Below is a selection of ECE providers who have a working website available to view.

Other Useful Websites

Team Up - a Ministry of Education website designed for parents
Ministry of Education website on early education
Parent2Parent - NZ website for parents of children with special needs
Kidshealth - a joint initiative between the Starship Foundation and the NZ Paediatric Society