Open an early childhood centre

Find out which Council permissions you might need to open an early childhood centre.

An early childhood centre is premises used for the care, education, or welfare of four or more children under the age of seven. 

An early childhood centre can be a:

  • kindergarten
  • playcentre
  • kohanga reo
  • licensed childcare centre
  • day nursery
  • crèche.

Resource consent

You’ll need resource consent if the centre will be in a residential area where it could create noise or traffic in the neighbourhood.

You'll also need to meet Ministry of Education's regulations for early childhood centres.

Starting a centre-based ECE service – Ministry of Education

Before applying for resource consent, you should:

Resource consents

Building consent

You need a building consent to build an early childhood centre.

Applying for a building consent

Other permissions you may need

On-site car park requirements

You must provide one on-site car park for each staff member needed to run the centre at full capacity.

On-site car park requirements

If you're changing the use of a building

If you're changing the use of a building – for example, changing a home to a workplace like a daycare centre – you need to notify the Council, even if no building work is involved.

Changing the use of a building

If you're altering an existing building

If you're applying for a building consent to alter an existing building:

  • the entire building must comply with the current Building Code requirements for escape from fire and, if required, access and facilities for people with disabilities
  • the rest of the building must not be made less compliant with the Building Code because of the work.

Applying for a building consent to alter an existing building

If you'll produce liquid waste from a commercial kitchen

If your business will produce more liquid waste than a large household would – for example, oil or grease from a kitchen – you may need a trade waste consent.

Tips and trade waste consents