Licensing criteria for centre-based ECE services
Section 10 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link) defines an early childhood education and care centre as a premises that is 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 who are being provided with education or care before or after school) under the age of 6 years by 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(external link), 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, 2.2 MB] and printed.
The licensing criteria were last updated in September 2022.
GMA12 Availability of documentation
Governance Management and Administration criterion 12
Required documentation is made available as appropriate to parents and Government officials having right of entry to the service under Section 626 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link).
This criterion ensures records are made available as required, which supports the accountability of service providers to the community and government.
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 need to ensure the required documentation as outlined in the Governance, Management and Administration criteria is made available when required.
Any historic documentation stored off-site needs to be easily retrievable when required.