Licensing criteria for home-based ECE services

Section 10 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link) defines home-based ECE services as the provision of education or care, for gain or reward, to children who are under the age of 5 years, or who are aged 5 years but not enrolled at school, in:

  • the children’s own home; or
  • the home of the person providing the education or care; or
  • any other home nominated by a parent of the children.

These services 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 services meet the minimum standards required by the regulations.

For each criterion there is guidance to help services meet the required standards.

The publication of the criteria on its own can be downloaded as a PDF [PDF, 1.3 MB] and printed.

The licensing criteria were last updated in September 2022.

GMA1 Parent access to information

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Governance Management and Administration criterion 1

      Parents are advised how to access:

      • information concerning their child;
      • the service's operational documents (such as its philosophy, policies, and procedures and any other documents that set out how day to day operations will be conducted);
      • the most recent Education Review Office report regarding the service;
      • the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, and the Licensing Criteria for Home-based Education and Care Services 2008;
      • the full names and qualifications of each person counting towards regulated qualification requirements;
      • the service's current licence certificate; and
      • a procedure people should follow if they wish to complain about non-compliance with the Regulations or criteria.

      Documentation required:

      Evidence (such as a newsletter or enrolment pack information) of compliance with the criterion.
      A procedure people should follow if they wish to complain about non-compliance with the Regulations or criteria. The procedure includes the option to contact the local Ministry of Education office and provides contact details.


      The criterion is underpinned by the belief that a level of collaboration between parents and adults providing education and care will result in positive outcomes for children. The criterion aims to ensure that parents are well informed about the service's operation and their child's education, and are made aware of the input they are able to have.


  • 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.

      Providing written information to parents can take a variety of forms including:

      • as part of a parent induction pack
      • newsletters
      • website.

      The criterion could be met ensuring that after enrolment, copies of the statement of philosophy and important service policies are made available to parents. Each Educator could have a folder with all relevant documents in it so that these can be easily accessed by parents.

      Services must have a procedure so people know how to make a complaint about any instance of non-compliance and this must include the option for people to contact their local Ministry of Education office, with the appropriate contact details.

      Complaints could come from a variety of sources:

      • a parent
      • an educator
      • a member of the family or the community
      • a staff member.

      and may be about a range of topics including:

      • specific teaching practice
      • routine or policy
      • an event
      • a particular staff member
      • an educator
      • a member of the management team or board
      • or about the service in general.

      Complaints will vary from minor to major, and may escalate rapidly from one to the other unless they are well managed.

      Further guidance on developing a complaints policy and process is available, which includes a suggested template for developing a complaints policy and procedure.

      Guidance for developing a complaints policy / process for an ECE service [PDF, 73 KB] [PDF; 73kb]

      To ensure parents are well informed about children’s development and learning services should consider:

      • Creation of a portfolio on each child that is readily accessible to the child and his or her parents/caregivers.
      • Portfolios can be paper based or electronic that can be stored online and accessed securely by parents.
      • Educators and coordinators could arrange individual meetings with parents to discuss their children’s learning.
      • Service providers could hold meetings to convey information about the service.

      Parents/caregivers need to be made aware that reports from ERO are free and available from the local ERO office on request. They can also be downloaded from the Education Review Office(external link).


  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      If a child attending your service is from a family with separated parents the Education and Training Act 2020 sets out the right of entry to early childhood education (ECE) services for parents and guardians.

      Unless a court order rules otherwise, all parents and guardians are entitled to:

      • Reports about their child’s participation in ECE and learning experiences
      • Participate in the opportunities provided by the ECE service to engage with parents
      • Have access to any official records held at the service related to their child’s participation in that service.

      Services will need to develop a process which supports staff to ascertain how a relationship between separated parents and the service may be established so that communication channels can be opened. This could include ensuring educators have a copy of the enrolment form so they are clear what any court orders are.

      Related downloads:

      Professional Practice regarding Separated Parents/Guardians [PDF, 181 KB]