Education Amendment Act 2006

Early childhood education

53 New Part 26 substituted
  • Part 26 is repealed, and the following Part substituted:

    Part 26
    Early childhood education and care

    Interpretation

    308 Overview
    • This Part—

      • (a) requires the licensing of service providers who operate early childhood education and care centres; and

      • (b) allows, but does not require, the licensing of service providers who provide a home-based education and care service or a hospital-based education and care service; and

      • (c) allows, but does not require, playgroups to be certificated; and

      • (d) provides for the funding of licensed early childhood services and certificated playgroups; and

      • (e) provides for the regulation of licensed early childhood services and certificated playgroups; and

      • (f) provides for a range of other matters generally in relation to early childhood education and care, including administration, curriculum, police vetting of employees, powers of entry, and offences.

    309 Interpretation
    • In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires,—

      early childhood education and care centre has the meaning set out in section 310

      early childhood service means an early childhood education and care centre, home-based education and care service, or hospital-based education and care service

      foreign student has the same meaning as in section 2(1)

      home-based education and care service means the provision of education or care, for gain or reward, to fewer than 5 children under the age of 6 (in addition to any child enrolled at school who is the child of the person who provides education or care), in—

      • (a) their own home; or

      • (b) the home of the person providing the education or care; or

      • (c) any other home nominated by the parents of the children

      hospital-based education and care service means the provision of education or care to 3 or more children under the age of 6 who are also receiving health services within premises under the control of the Ministry of Health or a district health board established by or under section 19 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000

      licensed early childhood education and care centre means an early childhood education and care centre in respect of which the service provider holds a current licence issued under regulations made under section 317

      licensed early childhood service means an early childhood service in respect of which the service provider holds a current licence issued under regulations made under section 317

      licensed home-based education and care service means a home-based education and care service in respect of which the service provider holds a current licence issued under regulations made under section 317

      licensed hospital-based education and care service means a. hospital-based education and care service in respect of which the service provider holds a current licence issued under regulations made under section 317

      Minister means the Minister of the Crown who, under the authority of any warrant or with the authority of the Prime Minister, is for the time being responsible for the administration of this Part

      Ministry means the department of State that, with the authority of the Prime Minister, is for the time being responsible for the administration of this Part

      playgroup means a group that meets on a regular basis to facilitate children's play and in respect of which—

      • (a) no child attends for more than 4 hours on any day; and

      • (b) more than half the children attending on any occasion have a parent or caregiver present in the same play area at the same time

      Secretary means the chief executive of the Ministry

      service provider means each of the following

      • (a) in relation to an early childhood education and care centre, the body, agency, or person who or that operates the centre:

      • (b) in relation to a home-based education and care service, the body, agency, or person who or that arranges, or offers to arrange, that education or care:

      • (c) in relation to a hospital-based education and care service, the body, agency, or person who or that provides that education or care:

      • (d) in relation to a playgroup, the person or persons who operate the playgroup.

    310 Meaning of early childhood education and care centre
    • (1) In this Part, but subject to subsections (2) to (4), early childhood education and care centre means premises used regularly for the education or care of 3 or more children (not being children of the persons providing the education or care, or children enrolled at a school being provided with education or care before or after school) under the age of 6—

      • (a) by the day or part of a day; but

      • (b) not for any continuous period of more than 7 days.

      (2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), premises of the following kind are not early childhood education and care centres:

      • (a) registered schools (within the meaning of section 2(1) of this Act):

      • (b) hostels (within the meaning of section 2(1) of this Act):

      • (c) residences (within the meaning of section 2(1) of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989):

      • (d) institutions under the control of the Ministry of Health or a district health board established by or under section 19 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000:

      • (e) hospital care institutions (within the meaning of section 58(4) of the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001):

      • (f) children's health camps operated by Children's Health Camps—The New Zealand Foundation for Child and Family Health and Development:

      • (g) premises where all the children present are members of the same family in the care of a member of the family or members of the same family in the care of a caregiver who is not acting for gain or reward:

      • (h) any premises, during any period of use for the education or care of children for any period not exceeding 4 hours a week in circumstances where the children's parents or caregivers are—

        • (i) in close proximity to the children and are able to be contacted; and

        • (ii) able to resume responsibility for the children at short notice:

      • (i) any premises, during any period of use for the operation of a playgroup, licensed home-based education and care service, or hospital-based education and care service.

      (3) Despite subsection (2), premises are early childhood education and care centres if they are—

      • (a) within premises of a kind described in subsection (2); and

      • (b) used regularly or principally for the education or care of 3 or more children under the age of 6 who are children of—

        • (i) staff who work within premises of a kind described in subsection (2); or

        • (ii) persons attending premises of that kind as residents or students.

      (4) An early childhood education and care centre may be operated within the premises of a registered school; and its status as an early childhood education and care centre is not affected by the fact of its being operated within those premises.

    Funding

    311 Funding of certain early childhood services and certificated playgroups
    • (1) In each year, out of money appropriated by Parliament,—

      • (a) the service provider for every licensed early childhood service—

        • (i) must be paid general grants; and

        • (ii) may be paid 1 or more discretionary grants; and

      • (b) the service provider who operates a certificated playgroup—

        • (i) may be paid general grants; and

        • (ii) may be paid 1 or more discretionary grants; and

      • (c) the management of any body corporate may be paid a discretionary grant for the purpose of establishing a licensed early childhood service or certificated playgroup.

      (2) The amount of every grant must be determined by the Minister.

      (3) The Minister may from time to time determine the means by which the amounts of grants may be calculated or ascertained; and—

      • (a) different means may be determined in respect of—

        • (i) grants of different classes or descriptions; and

        • (ii) licensed early childhood services of different classes or descriptions and certificated playgroups; and

      • (b) the amount of any grant may be determined accordingly; but

      • (c) nothing in this subsection limits or affects the Minister's power under subsection (2) to determine the amount of any grant.

      (4) Without limiting subsection (3), the Minister may determine that no grant is payable in respect of any foreign student attending a licensed early childhood service.

      (5) Any grant—

      • (a) may be paid unconditionally, or subject to any conditions the Minister specifies in writing when the grant is paid or earlier; and

      • (b) may be paid to be used for any purpose the service provider considers appropriate, or for only such purposes as the Minister specifies in writing when the grant is paid or earlier; and

      • (c) may be withheld in whole or in part if the service provider fails to comply with any regulations made under section 317 or section 319 or any conditions of the licence or certificate.

      (6) The service provider must ensure that—

      • (a) where a grant has been paid subject to conditions, the conditions are complied with; and

      • (b) if a grant has been paid to be used only for purposes specified by the Minister under subsection (5)(b), the grant is used only for those purposes.

    312 Loans to licensed early childhood services
    • The Minister may, on any terms and conditions the Minister considers appropriate, lend to the service provider for any licensed early childhood service public money appropriated by Parliament for the purpose.

    Administration and curriculum

    313 Administrative requirements
    • The service provider for every licensed early childhood service must keep, and make available to the Secretary on request,—

      • (a) a register of the children who attend or have attended the service, specifying the date of birth of each; and

      • (b) a record of the attendance of children at the service; and

      • (c) a record of all fees and other charges paid in respect of children's attendance at the service; and

      • (d) evidence that parents of children attending the service have regularly examined the attendance record; and

      • (e) any other records that are necessary to enable the service's performance to be monitored adequately.

    314 Curriculum framework
    • (1) The Minister may prescribe a curriculum framework for any or all of the following:

      • (a) all licensed early childhood services:

      • (b) all certificated playgroups:

      • (c) all licensed early childhood services and certificated playgroups.

      (2) The Minister may not prescribe a curriculum framework or amend any prescribed curriculum framework, unless the Minister has consulted with those organisations that appear to the Minister to be representative of persons likely to be substantially affected by the curriculum framework or the amendment, as the case may be.

      (3) As soon as practicable after prescribing or amending a curriculum framework, the Minister must publish a notice in the Gazette

      • (a) stating that a curriculum framework has been prescribed or, as the case requires, amended; and

      • (b) setting out the curriculum framework or the amendment to the curriculum framework in its entirety, or stating where or how a copy of the curriculum framework or the amendment to the curriculum framework can be obtained by members of the public.

      (4) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), a notice under subsection (3) may—

      • (a) specify different commencement dates for different provisions of the curriculum framework or for different purposes; and

      • (b) specify a transitional period during which service providers may elect to comply with another specified curriculum requirement and specify a date on which service providers must comply with the curriculum framework.

      (5) If a curriculum framework is prescribed under this section, every service provider for a licensed early childhood service or who operates a certificated playgroup, and to whom that curriculum framework applies, must implement that curriculum framework in accordance with any requirements prescribed in regulations made under section 317 or section 319, as the case may be.

    Licensing and certification provisions

    315 Service providers operating early childhood education and care centres to be licensed
    • (1) No service provider may operate an early childhood education and care centre unless that service provider is licensed to operate the centre under regulations made under section 317.

      (2) Every service provider who operates an early childhood education and care centre commits an offence if—

      • (a) the service provider operates the early childhood education and care centre without holding a current licence under regulations made under section 317 authorising the operation of the centre; or

      • (b) the service provider ceases to operate an early childhood education and care centre for which it holds a current licence under regulations made under section 317 authorising the operation of the centre, in circumstances other than an emergency, without first telling the Secretary that it will stop operating the centre; or

      • (c) the service provider ceases to operate the early childhood education and care centre for which it holds a current licence under regulations made under section 317 authorising the operation of the centre, in circumstances involving an emergency, and fails to tell the Secretary as soon as is reasonably practicable after the closure.

      (3) An offence against subsection (2) is punishable on summary conviction,—

      • (a) in the case of an offence under subsection (2)(a), by a fine not exceeding $200 for every day or part of a day on which the offence took place; or

      • (b) in the case of an offence under subsection (2)(b) or (c), by a fine not exceeding $200.

      (4) This section is subject to section 319O.

    316 Certain service providers may be licensed
    • A service provider for a home-based education and care service or a hospital-based education and care service may, but need not, apply for a licence under regulations made under section 317 in respect of the home-based education and care service or hospital-based education and care service provided by the service provider.

    317 Regulations relating to licensing
    • (1) The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations providing for either or both of the following—

      • (a) the licensing of service providers to provide early childhood services of any kind, and the transfer of licences:

      • (b) regulating the management, operation, and control of licensed early childhood services of any kind, and imposing duties on service providers.

      (2) Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

      • (a) prescribe minimum standards relating to premises, facilities, programmes of education, practices in relation to children's learning and development, staffing and parental or caregiver participation (including adult:child ratios), health and safety, implementation of the curriculum framework, communication and consultation with parents, the operation or administration of those services, or any of them, to be complied with to ensure the health, comfort, care, education, and safety of children attending licensed early childhood services:

      • (b) authorise the Minister, after consultation with those organisations that appear to the Minister to be representative of persons likely to be substantially affected by these regulations, to prescribe criteria to be used by the Secretary to assess compliance with the minimum standards imposed by these regulations:

      • (c) require the Secretary to publish a notice in the Gazette

        • (i) stating that criteria referred to in paragraph (b) have been prescribed; and

        • (ii) setting out the criteria in their entirety, or stating where or how a copy of those criteria may be obtained by members of the public:

      • (d) limit or regulate the numbers of children who may attend licensed early childhood education and care centres or any premises used to provide a licensed home-based education and care service, or a licensed hospital-based education and care service:

      • (e) provide for the grant, duration, expiry, renewal, suspension, transfer, reclassification, and cancellation of licences of 1 or more specified kinds for service providers for each kind of early childhood service, and prescribe the conditions subject to which such licences may be granted, renewed or transferred and the fees payable in respect of the grant, renewal, and transfer of such licences, or do any of those things:

      • (f) prescribe conditions governing, or that may be imposed in respect of, licensed early childhood services and the duties of their service providers:

      • (g) prescribe the records to be kept by service providers in respect of children attending licensed early childhood education and care centres, licensed home-based education and care services,, and licensed hospital-based education and care services:

      • (h) regulate the qualifications to be held by any specified number or proportion of those persons carrying out the following:

        • (i) the control and management of each licensed early childhood education and care centre, licensed home-based education and care service, or licensed hospital-based education and care service, or any of them:

        • (ii) the education and care of children attending a licensed early childhood education and care centre, licensed home-based education and care service, or licensed hospital-based education and care service, or any of them:

      • (i) provide for transitional matters not dealt with in this Act:

      • (j) prescribe offences punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding $500 in respect of the contravention of, or non-compliance with, the regulations.

      (3) Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) prescribe different standards and other requirements—

      • (a) for early childhood services of different types or descriptions; and

      • (b) in respect of different kinds of licences.

      (4) Criteria prescribed by the Minister for use in assessing compliance with the minimum standards imposed by regulations made under this section may differ in any way, including (without limitation), for—

      • (a) early childhood services of different types or descriptions; and

      • (b) different kinds of licences; and

      • (c) different minimum standards.

      (5) Criteria prescribed by the Minister for use in assessing compliance with minimum standards imposed by regulations made under this section are deemed to be regulations for the purposes of the Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989 but not for the purposes of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989.

    318 Playgroups may be certificated
    • A service provider who operates a playgroup may, but need not, apply for a certificate issued under regulations made under section 319 in respect of the playgroup.

    319 Regulations relating to certification of playgroups
    • (1) The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations providing for the certification of playgroups and these regulations may do all or any of the following:

      • (a) prescribe minimum standards relating to premises, facilities, programmes of education, practices in relation to children's learning and development, parental or caregiver participation (including adult:child ratios), health and safety, implementation of the curriculum framework, communication and consultation with parents, the operation and administration of playgroups, or any of them, to be complied with to ensure the health, comfort, care, education, and safety of children attending certificated playgroups:

      • (b) authorise the Minister, after consultation with those organisations that appear to the Minister to be representative of persons likely to be substantially affected by these regulations, to prescribe criteria to be used by the Secretary to assess compliance with minimum standards imposed by these regulations:

      • (c) require the Secretary to publish a notice in the Gazette

        • (i) stating that criteria referred to in paragraph (b) have been prescribed; and

        • (ii) setting out the criteria in their entirety, or stating where or how a copy of those criteria may be obtained by members of the public:

      • (d) limit or regulate the numbers of children who may attend certificated playgroups:

      • (e) provide for the grant, duration, expiry, renewal, suspension, transfer, reclassification, and cancellation of certificates of 1 or more specified kinds for playgroups, and prescribe the conditions subject to which such certificates may be granted, renewed, or transferred and the fees payable in respect of the grant, renewal, or transfer of such certificates, or do any of these things:

      • (f) prescribe conditions governing, or that may be imposed in respect of, certificated playgroups and the duties of their service providers:

      • (g) prescribe the records to be kept by the service provider in respect of children attending certificated playgroups:

      • (h) regulate the qualifications to be held by any specified number or proportion of those persons responsible for either or both of the following:

        • (i) the control and management of a certificated playgroup:

        • (ii) the education and care of children attending a certificated playgroup:

      • (i) provide for transitional matters not dealt with in this Act.

      (2) Criteria prescribed by the Minister for use in assessing compliance with the minimum standards imposed by regulations made under this section may differ in any way, including (without limitation), for—

      • (a) different kinds of certificates; and

      • (b) different standards.

      (3) Criteria prescribed by the Minister for use in assessing compliance with minimum standards imposed by regulations made under this section are deemed to be regulations for the purposes of the Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989 but not for the purposes of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989.

    Powers of entry and inspection

    319A Parent's right of entry
    • The parent or guardian of a child has a right of entry to a licensed early childhood education and care centre or to the premises where a licensed home-based education and care service is provided, whenever the child is there, except if the parent or guardian—

      • (a) is subject to an order of a court that prohibits access to, or contact with, the child, either generally or with respect to the child while, or at a time when the child is, attending the centre or service; or

      • (b) is subject to a warning under section 4 of the Trespass Act 1980 to stay off the premises; or

      • (c) is suffering from a contagious or infectious disease likely to have a detrimental effect on the children if passed on to them; or

      • (d) is, in the opinion of a person responsible for the operation of the centre or service, under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that has a detrimental effect on the functioning or behaviour of the person; or

      • (e) is, in the opinion of a person responsible for the operation of the centre or service, exhibiting behaviour that is or is likely to be disruptive to the effective operation of the centre or service.

    319B Powers of entry and inspection without warrant
    • (1) Any person holding an authorisation under subsection (3) may, for the purpose of ensuring that the provisions of this Act and any regulations made under this Act, or the conditions of any licence, certificate, or grant issued or made under any of those provisions, are being complied with, or for the purpose of conducting any audit, at any reasonable time, do all or any of the following:

      • (a) enter and inspect any premises that are or contain a licensed early childhood education and care centre or that are used to provide a licensed home-based education and care service or a licensed hospital-based education and care service, or that are used by a certificated playgroup:

      • (b) inspect, photocopy, print out, or copy onto disk any documents (whether held in electronic or paper form) that the person believes on reasonable grounds to be those of the licensed early childhood service or certificated playgroup:

      • (c) remove any document described in paragraph (b), whether in its original form or as an electronic or paper copy.

      (2) If any document is removed from premises under subsection (1)(c), the person who removes it must—

      • (a) leave at the premises a list of the documents removed; and

      • (b) return the documents, or a copy of them, to the premises as soon as practicable, unless to do so would prejudice any investigation being or to be carried out by the Ministry.

      (3) The Secretary may authorise in writing any person, who in the opinion of the Secretary is suitably qualified and trained in the exercise of powers under subsection (1), to exercise those powers.

      (4) Every authorisation under subsection (3) must contain—

      • (a) a reference to this section; and

      • (b) the full name of the person authorised; and

      • (c) a statement of the powers conferred on that person by this section.

      (5) Every person exercising any power under subsection (1) must have the appropriate written authorisation, and evidence of identity, and must produce them to the person in charge of the premises concerned (or, as the case may be, the person having possession or control of the documents concerned)—

      • (a) on first entering the premises; and

      • (b) whenever subsequently reasonably required to do so by the person in charge.

      (6) For the purposes of this section and section 319C, inspection, in relation to any premises, includes observing any children present there.

    319C Powers of entry and inspection with warrant
    • (1) Any person authorised by section 319B(3) who has reasonable grounds to believe that any premises are being used as an early childhood education and care centre in contravention of this Act or regulations made under section 317, may apply in writing on oath to a District Court Judge, Justice of the Peace, Community Magistrate, or Registrar or Deputy Registrar of any court for a warrant.

      (2) If the Judge or other person to whom the application is made is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the premises are being so used, he or she may issue a warrant directed to the person by name authorising the person to enter the premises.

      (3) Every warrant issued under subsection (2) must contain—

      • (a) a reference to this section; and

      • (b) the full name of the person authorised; and

      • (c) a description of the premises concerned; and

      • (d) the date on which it was issued and the date on which it expires.

      (4) Every warrant issued under subsection (2) must authorise the person named in it, at any reasonable time within 4 weeks after the date on which it is issued, to—

      • (a) enter the premises described in the warrant; and

      • (b) do on those premises anything necessary to ascertain whether those premises are being used as an early childhood education and care centre, in contravention of this Act or any regulations made under section 317.

      (5) Every person exercising any power under subsection (4) must have the appropriate warrant and evidence of identity and must produce them to the occupier of the premises concerned—

      • (a) on first entering the premises; and

      • (b) whenever subsequently reasonably required to do so by that occupier.

      (6) Every warrant issued under subsection (2) expires on the earlier of the following dates:

      • (a) the date when the purpose for which it was issued has been satisfied; or

      • (b) the date specified as the date of expiry under subsection (3)(d).

    Police vetting of employees

    319D Police vetting of non-teaching and unregistered employees at licensed early childhood services
    • (1) Before appointing a person who is not a registered teacher or holder of a limited authority to teach to a permanent position at a licensed early childhood service, the service provider for the service must obtain a police vet of the person from the New Zealand Teachers Council.

      (2) The service provider for every licensed early childhood service must apply to the New Zealand Teachers Council for a police vet of every person who is employed by the service provider but is not a registered teacher or holder of a limited authority to teach—

      • (a) within 2 weeks of first employing the person on a casual or temporary basis at the service; or

      • (b) in the case of a person employed at the service on 22 April 2002, as required by the New Zealand Teachers Council; or

      • (c) in the case of a person on whom a police vet has been conducted within the last 3 years, on or about the third anniversary of the previous police vet.

    319E Police vetting of contractors and their employees who work at licensed early childhood services
    • (1) The service provider for every licensed early childhood service must apply to the New Zealand Teachers Council for a police vet of every contractor who regularly works at the service during normal opening hours—

      • (a) within 2 weeks of the contractor first starting to work at the service; or

      • (b) in the case of a contractor working at the service on 22 April 2002, as required by the New Zealand Teachers Council; or

      • (c) in the case of a contractor on whom a police vet has been conducted within the last 3 years, on or about the third anniversary of the previous police vet.

      (2) In this section, contractor means both—

      • (a) a person who, under a contract (other than an employment contract), works at an early childhood service; and

      • (b) a person employed by a person referred to in paragraph (a) who, in the course of that employment, works at an early childhood service.

    319F Internal procedures relating to police vets
    • (1) In this section, requester means the service provider for a licensed early childhood service that has applied to the New Zealand Teachers Council for a police vet of a person.

      (2) Every requester must establish internal procedures for dealing with police vets that are received as a result of a request under section 319D or section 319E that must, in particular,—

      • (a) identify the person or office-holder within the requester to whom police vets must be sent by the New Zealand Teachers Council; and

      • (b) ensure that strict confidentiality is observed for police vets.

      (3) A requester may not take adverse action in relation to a person who is the subject of a police vet until—

      • (a) the person has validated the information contained in the vet; or

      • (b) the person has been given a reasonable opportunity to validate the information, but has failed to do so within a reasonable period.

    Miscellaneous

    319G Offence of insulting, abusing, or intimidating staff
    • Every person commits an offence, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000, who intentionally insults, abuses, or intimidates a teacher or member of staff of an early childhood education and care centre—

      • (a) within the presence or hearing of any child at the centre; and

      • (b) while on centre premises or in any other place where children are assembled for purposes associated with the centre.

    319H Offence of obstructing power of entry
    • Every person commits an offence, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000, who obstructs, hinders, resists, or deceives any person exercising or attempting to exercise a power of entry conferred by section 319A, 319B, or 319C.

    319I Payment of fees for attendance of children at kindergartens
    • (1) Fees may be charged in respect of the attendance of any child at any kindergarten (whether or not it is, or is known or described as, a free kindergarten).

      (2) Subsection (1) is not limited or affected by, and has effect despite,—

      • (a) any enactment or rule of law; or

      • (b) anything in the constitution of any body corporate; or

      • (c) any contract or undertaking to the contrary entered into or given before the commencement of the Education Amendment Act (No 3) 1990.

    319J Centres situated on property owned by the Crown
    • (1) Where an early childhood education and care centre is situated on land owned by the Crown, the following provisions apply:

      • (a) the Secretary may direct the building of any capital works on that land intended for the centre's use:

      • (b) the service provider who operates the centre must—

        • (i) pay to the Secretary the rent for the time being charged by the Secretary; and

        • (ii) comply with standards of maintenance and capital works determined by the Secretary:

      • (c) the service provider who operates the centre must not, without the Secretary's approval,—

        • (i) carry out any capital works on the land; or

        • (ii) grant any lease or sublease of, or grant any licence or permit in respect of, or assign any rights in respect of, or part with possession or control of, or allow any other person to share possession, control, or use of, the land or any other property of the Crown.

      (2) The continued operation of an early childhood education and care centre on land owned by the Crown, and the occupation by an early childhood education and care centre of any building on land owned by the Crown, may be governed by—

      • (a) a lease or tenancy or licence under section 45 of the Public Works Act 1981; or

      • (b) a lease or licence under section 70B of the Education Act 1989; or

      • (c) an occupancy document notified to the service provider who operates the centre by the Secretary.

      (3) The Secretary may from time to time amend an occupancy document by written notice to the service provider who operates the centre.

    Transitional provisions

    319K Existing early childhood centres deemed to be licensed
    • (1) Subject to subsections (2), (3), and (6), every early childhood centre that, immediately before the commencement of this section, was licensed as an early childhood centre is deemed to be licensed as an early childhood education and care centre under this subsection, and continues to be so licensed—

      • (a) for the relevant period, and in accordance with the regulations referred to in section 319N(1)(a) and (b); or

      • (b) if the service provider who operates that centre applies within the relevant period for a licence in accordance with regulations made under section 317, until that application is determined.

      (2) Despite subsection (1), the Secretary may give written notice to the service provider of an early childhood education and care centre that is deemed to be licensed under subsection (1), requiring the service provider who operates that centre to apply for a licence under regulations made under section 317 within 3 months of the date of that notice, and—

      • (a) if that service provider fails to make such an application within the specified period, the centre ceases to be licensed under subsection (1) at the end of that period; or

      • (b) if that service provider makes such an application within the required period, the centre continues to be licensed under subsection (1) until that application has been determined.

      (3) Despite subsection (1), if subsection (4) applies, the Secretary may, by written notice to the service provider who operates an early childhood education and care centre that is deemed to be licensed under subsection (1), declare that the centre is no longer licensed under subsection (1) and the notice has effect accordingly.

      (4) The Secretary may give a notice under subsection (3) only if the Secretary is satisfied that the service provider or the centre—

      • (a) does not comply with the regulations referred to in section 319N(1)(a) and (b); or

      • (b) does not comply with any conditions of the licence.

      (5) The Secretary may, despite the fact that the centre concerned does not meet the minimum requirements for the issue of a licence under regulations made under section 317, issue to the service provider operating the centre a transitional licence under those regulations that—

      • (a) expires on a date specified in the licence (being a date that is not later than 18 months after the date of issue); and

      • (b) is subject to any conditions specified on it.

      (6) If the Secretary is not satisfied that the conditions specified in a licence issued in circumstances described in subsection (5) are being complied with, the Secretary may, by written notice to the service provider operating the centre, cancel the licence.

      (7) Every notice under subsection (3) or subsection (6) must give reasons for the action taken.

      (8) Every early childhood centre must, while it is deemed to be licensed under subsection (1), be treated for the purposes of this Act as an early childhood centre licensed under regulations made under section 317 (as inserted by section 53 of the Education Amendment Act 2006).

      (9) Subsections (1) to (6) do not limit any powers to cancel, suspend, or reclassify a licence conferred by the regulations referred to in section 319N(1)(a) and (b).

      (10) In this section, relevant period means,—

      • (a) in relation to an early childhood centre for which a probationary licence was in force immediately before the commencement of this section, the period expiring on—

        • (i) the date specified in the probationary licence as the date on which it expires; or

        • (ii) if a full licence is obtained under the regulations referred to in section 319N(1)(a) and (b) before the expiry of that probationary licence, the date that is 6 years after the commencement of this section:

      • (b) in relation to an early childhood centre for which a provisional or full licence was in force immediately before the commencement of this section, the date that is 6 years after the commencement of this section.

    319L Existing chartered care arrangers deemed to be licensed
    • (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), every care arranger who, immediately before the commencement of this section, was a chartered care arranger is deemed to be a service provider who is licensed to operate a home-based education and care service for—

      • (a) a period of 6 years after the commencement of this section; or

      • (b) if the service provider who provides that service applies within that period for a licence in accordance with regulations under section 317, until that application is determined.

      (2) Despite subsection (1), the Secretary may give written notice to a service provider that is deemed to be licensed under subsection (1), requiring the service provider to apply for a licence under regulations made under section 317 within 3 months of the date of that notice, and—

      • (a) if that service provider fails to make such an application within the specified period, the home-based education and care service provided by that service provider ceases to be licensed under subsection (1) at the end of that period; or

      • (b) if that service provider makes such an application within the required period, the service continues to be licensed under subsection (1) until that application has been determined.

      (3) Despite subsection (1), if subsection (4) applies, the Secretary may by written notice to the service provider who provides the home-based education and care service that is deemed to be licensed under subsection (1), declare that the service is no longer licensed under subsection (1) and the notice has effect accordingly.

      (4) The Secretary may give a notice under subsection (3) only if the Secretary is satisfied that the service is not provided in a way that complies with the code of practice set out in the order referred to in section 319N(1)(c).

      (5) The Secretary may, despite the fact that the service provider or service concerned does not meet the minimum requirements for the issue of a licence under regulations made under section 317 or the service concerned is not provided in a way that complies with the code of practice set out in the order referred to in section 319N(1)(c), issue to the service provider providing the service a transitional licence under those regulations that—

      • (a) expires on a date specified in the licence (being a date that is not later than 18 months after the date of issue); and

      • (b) is subject to any conditions specified on it.

      (6) If the Secretary is not satisfied that the conditions specified in a licence issued in circumstances described in subsection (5), are being complied with, the Secretary may, by written notice to the service provider providing the service, cancel the licence.

      (7) Every notice under subsection (3) or subsection (6) must give reasons for the action taken.

      (8) Every home-based education and care service must, while it is deemed to be licensed under subsection (1), be treated for the purposes of this Act as a home-based education and care service licensed under regulations made under section 317 (as inserted by section 53 of the Education Amendment Act 2006).

    319M Funding conditions during transitional period
    • (1) This section applies in respect of—

      • (a) a service provider who operates an early childhood education and care centre that immediately before the commencement of this section was a chartered early childhood centre, during the period while it is deemed to be licensed under section 319K(1); and

      • (b) a service provider who operates a home-based education and care service and who immediately before the commencement of this section was a chartered care arranger, during the period while the service provider is deemed to be licensed under section 319L(1).

      (2) While this section applies in respect of a service provider who operates an early childhood education and care centre or a home-based education and care service, it is a condition of any grant paid to that provider under section 311 that the provider continues to comply with the relevant statement of desirable objectives and practices published in the Gazette under section 312 (as that section read before the commencement of this section).

      (3) The Minister may at any time, while this section applies in respect of any service provider, amend, revoke, or replace any statement of desirable objectives and practices referred to in subsection (2) by notice in the Gazette.

    319N Existing regulations preserved
    • (1) The following regulations are to be treated as regulations made under section 317 (as inserted by section 53 of the Education Amendment Act 2006):

      • (a) the Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998 (SR 1998/85):

      • (b) the Education (Early Childhood Centres) Fees Regulations 1990 (SR 1990/262):

      • (c) the Education (Home-Based Care) Order 1992 (SR 1992/238).

      (2) Despite subsection (1), the regulations referred to in subsection (1) are not to be treated as regulations made under section 317 (as inserted by section 53 of the Education Amendment Act 2006) for the purposes of the following provisions:

      • (a) section 319K(1)(b), (2), and (5); and

      • (b) section 319L(1)(b), (2), and (5); and

      • (c) section 319O(1).

      (3) The regulations and order referred to in subsection (1) may be amended under section 317.

    319O Licence-exempt centres may continue
    • (1) The service provider for an early childhood education and care centre, that immediately before the commencement of this section was a licence-exempt centre, may continue to operate that centre without a licence issued under regulations made under section 317 for a period that expires 6 years after the date of the commencement of this section.

      (2) Despite the repeal of sections 311A and 311B of this Act by the Education Amendment Act 2006, grants may continue to be paid after the commencement of this section to a service provider operating any early childhood education and care centre that, immediately before the commencement of this section, was a licence-exempt centre, for any period that the Minister considers reasonable (not exceeding 6 years after the date of the commencement of this section).

      (3) For the purposes of subsection (2), section 309 (as it read before the commencement of section 53 of the Education Amendment Act 2006) and sections 311A and 311B continue to apply as if—

      • (a) they were still in force; and

      • (b) every reference to the management of a centre were a reference to the service provider who operates the centre.