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, 1.8 MB] and printed. 

The licensing criteria were last updated in September 2022. 


PF8 Storage

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Premises and facilities criterion 8

      There are sufficient spaces for equipment and material to be stored safely. Stored equipment and materials can be easily and safely accessed by adults, and where practicable, by children.


      To ensure both adults’ and children’s safety by ensuring that equipment and materials that are accessible to adults and children are appropriately stored.

  • 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.

      Storage space is needed for the variety of indoor and outdoor equipment and resources that are required.

      Children will need to have access to enable some choice from stored equipment and materials to support children’s learning.

      Storage for children’s belongings

      Allow plenty of space for children to have independent access to their belongings to give them the ability to take some responsibility for their things, including choosing what to wear throughout the day. It is important to remove anything that may be harmful to children, for example, medicines.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      • How will storage facilities be arranged to ensure easy access, minimise congestion and ensure safety?
      • How will the range of indoor and outdoor equipment and material be stored?
      • Pay particular attention to frequently used areas.
      • Avoid over stacking both on top of and inside cupboards.

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