ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
National membership 

Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal


Safety checking of centre owners, teachers, homebased educators, relievers, students, researchers, etc.

job interview childforumExcellent guidance, ChildForum. Thank you! (Ole Schoolhouse early childhood centre)

© ChildForum

Any person who may have access to children as part of their work, such as cleaners and cooks at early childhood services, must be safety checked in accordance with the Vulnerable Children's Act before being allowed to start work. The fine to the early childhood service of failing to do this is up to $10,000 upon conviction.

While it is a current requirement that all staff employed for the first time by a service in child care/ teaching roles (core children’s worker roles) are safety checked, this is not the case for service owners and operators unless they also claim wages/ are a worker at the service.

Owners and self-employed service providers who work in their service must go through a separate screening service and there is a cost for this. Details are provided in the article below.

In regard to interviewing applicants, there is a helpful article published by ChildForum (click here) about how to go beyond just the ‘technical’ type of interview to also do a ‘values-based’ interview that allows for the applicant’s values, motives, and attitudes toward children to be assessed.

Below you will find quick, clear, information relating to:

1. How to do a safety check and the various steps
2. Centre owners, employees (staff and managers), home-based educators, visiting teachers and coordinators
3. Other adults and teenagers in the home at home-based ECE services
4. Relievers: recruited by the service, recruited by a relieving agency, and emergency relievers
5. Students/ trainees on field practice
6. Volunteers, including: high school students and elderly folk
7. Workers paid by another organisation
8. Researchers
9. Retention of records
10. Privacy requirements
11. Dates when safety checks need to be done for ‘new’ workers and ‘existing/ current’ workers
12. Exemption to employ a person convicted of a specified offence


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