Licensing criteria for centre-based ECE services
Section 15 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link) 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(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, 2.1 MB] and printed.
The licensing criteria were last updated in April 2021.
PF10 Art sink
Premises and facilities criterion 10
§ Ø There are facilities (other than those required for PF26) or alternative arrangements available for the preparation and cleaning up of paint and other art materials.
To ensure that centres provide separate washing facilities for art materials to maintain hygiene.
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.
There needs to be adequate space and facilities to prepare and clean up paint and other art materials. Body wash facilities must not be used for art preparation and clean up.
It is preferable that the art preparation and clean-up facility is a separate plumbed-in sink or tub unit that is used exclusively for this purpose.
If a dedicated art sink is not possible at your centre, you will need to have an acceptable alternative system. Talk to your local health protection officer (HPO) from Public Health for advice about the best way to ensure hygienic practices.
Alternative systems may include:
- using one or more buckets to wash materials, and disposing of the waste water in the cleaner’s sink or down an outside gully trap
- placing an insert into a sink facility used for another purpose to prevent art materials from coming into contact with any cleaning waste or chemical residues, and/or to prevent paint or waste water from coming into contact with the sink.
Robust cleaning procedures are needed to ensure all facilities are thoroughly cleaned before and after being used for art preparation and clean up.
Example of art sink - art preparation and clean up facility - separate plumbed-in sink or tub unit.
Girl painting in easy clean art area.