Licensing criteria for centre-based ECE services
Section 15 of the Education and Training Act 2020 defines an early childhood education and care centre as premises used regularly for the education or care of 3 or more children (not being children of the persons providing the education or care, or children enrolled at a school being provided with education or care before or after school) under the age of 6—
- by the day or part of a day; but
- not for any continuous period of more than 7 days.
Centre-based ECE services have a variety of different operating structures, philosophies and affiliations, and are known by many different names – for example, Playcentres, early learning centres, Montessori, childcare centres, Kindergartens, crèches, preschools, a’oga amata, Rudolf Steiner etc.
These centres are licensed in accordance with the Education and Training Act 2020 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 centres meet the minimum standards required by the regulations.
For each criterion there is guidance to help centres meet the required standards.
The publication of the criteria on its own can be downloaded as a PDF [PDF, 1.4 MB] and printed.
The licensing criteria were last updated in May 2016.
Licensing Criteria Cover
Curriculum criteria documentation required
Documentation that provides evidence of the service's compliance with criteria C1-C13. Documentation may take a variety of forms to suit the service's operation (such as portfolios, wall displays, policies and procedures) but must include:
- A process for providing positive guidance to encourage social competence in children (C10);
- A process for providing formal and informal opportunities for parents to:
- communicate with adults providing education and care about their child, and share specific evidence of the child's learning; and
- be involved in decision-making concerning their child's learning (C12); and