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. 


PF28 First aid kit

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Premises and facilities criterion 28

      There is a first aid kit that:

      • complies with the requirements of Appendix 1;
      • is easily recognisable and readily accessible to adults; and
      • is inaccessible to children.

      The criterion aims to uphold the safety of children by ensuring that:

      • there are adequate provisions available for the treatment of minor injuries
      • adults can easily find the necessary provisions for administering first aid
      • children cannot access any hazardous materials themselves.

  • 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.

      Contents and quantity

      A list of first aid kit contents can be found in Appendix 1.
      The quantity of first aid items you will need to store in your kit will depend upon:

      • the number of children attending your centre
      • the number of kits you choose to have.

      There must always be one first aid kit at the centre, and having a second kit to take on excursions will be necessary if some children remain at the centre during excursions.

      Centres with large outdoor areas may also consider securing an additional first aid kit in an outdoor storage area for quick access.

      First aid kit maintenance

      Items in first aid kits will need to be replaced as they are used, and regular checks should be made to ensure that any perishable items are not past their use-by date (once a month or term is a good idea). Having a minimum stock list of frequently used items as well as a staff roster for checking your first aid kit(s) will help to ensure perishable items and frequently used items are renewed as needed.

      First aid kit identification

      First aid kits need to be easily recognisable – so that when an accident happens, any adult at the centre can identify it.

      First aid kit placement

      First aid kits must be stored in a container so it is readily available to adults, but is secure and out of reach of children. If the first aid kit, or cupboard or container in which it is stored, is locked, make sure the key is kept within easy reach of adults and all staff know where it is. A sign nearby letting any adult know where to find the key in an emergency is a good idea.

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