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. 


PF 23 Adult toilet

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Premises and facilities criterion 23

      Ø There is a toilet suitable for adults to use.


      The criterion aims to ensure that adequate toilet provision is made for adults attending the service, thus upholding the wellbeing of children by reducing the possibility of inappropriate adult use of the children's facilities.

  • 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.

      Toilets for adults need to be full-sized, and able to be made private when being used. An adult toilet is also required under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (specifically Regulation 4:2a).

      The centre may choose to have all toilets available to children and adults, or designate one for adults and others for children – because this criterion relates only to the total number of toilets needed according to the number of people at the centre; it does not dictate how individual centres choose to use them.