Choosing a school for your child(ren) is a big responsibility for all parents.  In North Canterbury there are a variety of options available to you, depending upon where you live.  Most children are enrolled at school by their fifth birthday.  North Canterbury also caters for parents who require pre-school care and education.


Early Years (under 5 years) 


Early childhood care in New Zealand includes preschools, kindergartens, Playcentres, playgroups, kohanga reo and home-based care. There is no mandatory preschool education in New Zealand, although the government does support most pre-school education by providing 20 hours free per child for children aged 3 and 4. Not all care options are part of this scheme so it is important to check, if this is a requirement for you.  Early Childhood Centres in New Zealand are reviewed by the Education Review Office on average every 3 years. The inspection reports are available on their website.

View all North Canterbury Early Childhood Centres here >>


Home-Based Care & Home School

There are a number of private companies who offer care for pre-schoolers in your own home or in the home of a care provider.  These services are growing in popularity for those parents who do not want their children to attend a larger or formal setting.  Some parents also choose to home school their children right through their educational career.


Schools (5-6 years onwards)       

In New Zealand, most children start school soon after their 5th birthday. However, they are not legally required to begin school until they are 6 years old.

There are a number of different school types in New Zealand. Most fall under one of the following types:

View all North Canterbury Schools here >>


All schools are inspected by the Education Review Office and full inspection reports for each school can be found on their website.