Licensing criteria for hospital-based ECE services

The Education Act 1989 S 309 defines hospital-based education and care service as the provision of education or care to 3 or more children under the age of 6 who are receiving hospital care.

ECE services operating from hospital premises that provide education and care to siblings of patients or children of hospital staff or patients are centre-based ECE services, not hospital-based ECE services.

Hospital-based services are licensed in accordance with the Education Act 1989 under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, which prescribe minimum standards that each licensed service must meet. Licensing criteria are used to assess how the services meet the minimum standards required by the regulations.

For each criterion there is guidance to help services meet the required standards.

The publication of the criteria on its own can be downloaded as a PDF [PDF, 458 KB] and printed.

The licensing criteria were last updated in May 2016.

Licensing Criteria Cover

HS13 Child protection

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and safety practices criterion 13

      There is a written child protection policy that meets the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. The policy contains provisions for the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect, and information about how the service will keep children safe from abuse and neglect, and how it will respond to suspected child abuse and neglect.

      The policy must be reviewed every three years.

      Documentation required:
      1. A written child protection policy that contains:
        1. provisions for the service’s identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect;
        2. information about the practices the service employs to keep children safe from abuse and neglect; and
        3. information about how the service will respond to suspected child abuse and neglect.
      2. A procedure that sets out how the service will identify and respond to suspected child abuse and/or neglect.

      Child protection policies support children’s workers to identify and respond to vulnerability, including possible abuse and neglect.

      Amended 26 February 2016

  • Guidance
    • Guidance

      Any examples in the guidance are provided as a starting point to show how services can meet (or exceed) the requirement. Services may choose to use other approaches better suited to their needs as long as they comply with the criteria.

      Services must have a child protection policy that meets the Children's Act 2014 requirements.

      The policy must:

      • contain provisions on the identification and reporting of neglect and abuse, and
      • be written, and
      • be reviewed every three years.

      To be helpful, the policy should contain definitions of neglect and abuse so that staff can apply these consistently when needed.

      Services must make the policy and information about its practices available to parents as required by criterion GMA1 - Parent access to information.

      Documentation guidance:

      The Oranga Tamariki website has a publication Safer organisations, Safer children [PDF; 1.06MB] that provides advice on good practice to help organisations draft high quality child protection policies and review their procedures.

      The guidelines include a review tool to help services identify gaps in current policies, information about what to include in a new policy, as well as example policies including a policy used in an early childhood education setting.

      The policy needs to be consistent with advice provided by CYFS that can be found in the publication called "Working together to keep children and young people safe [PDF, 3 MB]". 

      Service staff require guidelines and opportunities for training to further develop their knowledge and understanding of:

      • the signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect
      • roles and responsibilities around record keeping and reporting
      • responsibilities to children
      • limitations of their role.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      Staff should be able to talk confidently and knowledgeably about the policies and processes in place to uphold children’s safety and wellbeing.