To parents and caregivers

This booklet is to help you make an informed decision about choosing an early childhood service that suits you and your child.

When your child begins attending an early childhood service the separation of you and your baby or young child leave you feeling anxious. It is important that you feel as comfortable as possible that he or she will be well cared for. You will also want to know that the early childhood education your child receives will be of a high quality.

New Zealand has many kinds of early childhood services. What you choose will depend on your own and your family’s values and beliefs. In addition you should consider where you live, your child’s age, whether or not you work full or part-time and what you expect from an early childhood service.

The Education Review Office (ERO) checks the quality of care and education in early childhood services and schools in New Zealand. It has published this document so that parents can:

  • know what to look for in a high quality early childhood service;
  • learn about the variety of early childhood services available; and
  • make the best possible use of the ERO reports about early childhood services.

The booklet also suggests how you can help your child settle into an early childhood education service.