News, Events and Culture

Early childhood education

Are you looking for a kindergarten, preschool, playschool or creche in Palmerston North? Early childhood education services provide education and care for young children, from babies to school age.

New Zealand children are not required to participate in formal early childhood education, however the majority does so at some stage before they reach school.

Terminology may differ from that used in other countries.  For example, "kindergarten" in New Zealand refers to education for children aged 2 ½ to 5 years, led by registered teachers.

Early childhood education (ECE) for your child in Palmerston North

There are many Early Childhood Education (ECE) options for parents to choose from, including bilingual programmes.
Childcare and Early Education in the Yellow Pages
(external website)

Team-up: all about Early Childhood Education in New Zealand (external website)

Search for early childhood education providers by selecting a region, city or district and the type of service, such as

  • casual education and care
  • education and care service
  • free kindergarten
  • home-based network
  • playcentre
  • te kohanga reo

Nearly everything you need to know about early childhood education in New Zealand is on the Ministry of Education's Team-Up website.

You can find out about:

  • the systems we have here
  • the terminology we use
  • financial support
  • the "20 hours free" service

About the Education Review Office (ERO) reports

The Education Review Office will help you to check out the quality of education in a school you may be considering.

Evaluate Early Childhood Education providers by reading their ERO report (external website)

About ERO reports: the Role of the Education Review Office (external website)


More tips, facts and support for parents of pre-school children

Early Childhood Education website (Ministry of Education) (external website)

Information about "20 hours free" scheme (external website)

Financial help for families needing childcare (external website)

Parents as First Teachers Programme - Parent education and support (external website)

Choices in early childhood eduction (external website)

ChildForum (external website)