10 things to consider when setting up a new ECE centre

Posted by David Witty on 14/02/17 12:44 PM

Setting up a new early childhood centre can be a daunting task.  We've collated a few of our top resources and tips to help you get started. abc




1 - Community needs

Research the needs of the local community and discover what facilities, teaching style and philosophies are needed in your local community

2 - Location, location, location

Once you know how your centre fits into the local community you can look at where it needs to fit! Close to residential areas, near places of employment, near popular commuter routes can all give you an advantage over centres located in harder to reach areas.

3 - Centre Philosophy

Will you follow a Reggio approach, instil Christian values, develop an appreciation for nature, focus on Te Reo? The 2008 regulations require you to develop and display a statement of philosophy but if you're struggling to develop one use this resource to get you started.

4 - Number of children

Having lots of children may be good for the bottom line of your centre but you'll put off parents looking for more intimate class sizes and room to play. Find your perfect balance between balancing the books and being attractive to parents.

5 - Age range

Is there a gap in your local market for certain ages? Do you want to offer a better service than what's available already? Picking your age range early is essential as it dictates the teachers, facilities and MOE requirements you must meet.

6 - Operating hours

Convenience is often key for parents. Depending on the age range you're looking after, and the types of families you're appealing to you may need to cater for varying hours.

7 - Budget

There is a decent amount of support available to ECE centres. One of the best resources available to understand what funding you're eligible for is the ECE Funding Handbook, available here.




8 - Standards

The Ministry of Education has some excellent resources that explain the standards each centre must achieve. For detailed regulations and licensing criteria use the following resources:

The Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Educations and Care Services 2008

9 - Centre layout

Developing a layout that is safe and exciting is a major challenge for many new centres. For fresh ideas and inspiration it can help to talk to someone that's helped developed dozens across the country. Contact us for a no obligation layout plan.

10 - Developing playgrounds

When the summer arrives you can bet the children will be running out the door to enjoy the good weather. Having a well developed playground can make or break a centre. The Hutt Valley DHB have created a great guide to help you get started, click here to see why it's so great.

Whatever centre you set up great quality toys and furnishings will help set you apart from the competition. Contact us to see how we can deliver a real point of difference to your new centre.

Topics: Early Childhood Education Centre, Funding & Budgeting