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Who is Who in our Sector

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Early Childhood Education System.

The Stakeholders and Key Organisations

Peak Bodies / Largest ECE Service Operators

Operators of more than 400 licensed services in our ECE system

  • National Te Kohanga Reo Trust (a charitable organisation and community-based)
  • Playcentre Aotearoa (a charitable organisation and community-based)

Operators of between 200 – 400 licensed ECE services

  • BestStart (formerly known as Kidicorp: a privately-owned charitable trust organisation)

Operators of between 100 – 199 licensed ECE services

  • Evolve Education (a share market listed company to make money for investors)
  • Auckland Kindergarten Association (a charitable organisation and community-based)

Operators of between 50 – 99 licensed ECE services

  • Whānau Manaaki Kindergarten Association (a charitable organisation and community-based)
  • Kidsfirst Kindergartens (a charitable organisation and community-based)
  • Provincial Education (growth driven by fund management for-profit)

Non-political Interest Groups

Formalised Teacher Groups in our Early Childhood Education System

ECMenz– An Association that supports men working in ECE

Hospital Play Specialists – An Association that supports teachers and staff working in ECE licensed services in hospitals

Early Intervention (EIAAZ) – An Association that supports early intervention practitioners

NZEI – Union for the industrial interests of ECE teachers mainly employed by Kindergarten Associations

TEU – Union for the industrial interests of ECE teachers working in ECE services at Tertiary Education Institutions

Service Provider Factions


The Christian Early Childhood Education Association of Aotearoa (CECEAA)


Wellington Pacific ECE Collective (WPEC) for Pacific ECE services in the Wellington region, including Porirua and the Hutt

Educational Philosophy

Federation of Rudolf Steiner Schools – safeguards the integrity of Steiner education in New Zealand and lobbies on behalf of the interests of Steiner-based ECE services.

Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand (MANZ) – promotes Montessori-based education and represents providers of Montessori-based centres.


Home Based Early Childhood Education Association (HBCA) – the first and largest home-based lobby group representing the business interests of home-based providers.

Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (TRMECNZ) – a Private Training Establishment (PTE) providing teaching qualifications and study opportunities for primary school and ECE teachers. It stands for community-based and not-for-profit ECE. Representing Barnardos and mostly not-for-profit centres.

Early Childhood Council (ECC) – an industry lobbyist representing the financial interests of the Kindercare, Evolve, and Provincial groups, and undisclosed centre owners.

NZ Kindergartens Inc (a national grouping of 15 Kindergarten Associations)

Educational Leadership (a breakaway group from NZK, representing the interests of 3 North Island Kindergarten Associations)

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