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 fewer than 5 children under the age of 6 (in addition to any child enrolled at school who is the child of the person who provides education or care) in:

  1. their own homes
  2. the home of the person providing education or care
  3. any other home nominated by the parents 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, 1.6 MB] and printed.

The licensing criteria were last updated in January 2021.

HS21 Room temperature

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and Safety practices criterion 21

      Rooms used by children are kept at a comfortable temperature no lower than 16°C (at 500mm above the floor) while children are attending.


      The criterion aims to uphold the wellbeing of children.

  • 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.

      Rooms used by children must be kept at minimum of 16°C at 500mm above the floor from the beginning of operating hours. This includes rooms used for sleeping and the toilet/bathroom.

      It is important to note that this is a minimum requirement. Services may choose to keep rooms in their homes at a higher temperature.

      WHO guidelines state a minimum of 18°C for residential living spaces. The criteria requirement is lower than this to allow for temperature fluctuations due to doors opening to allow children to move between indoor and outdoor spaces.

      Educators should think about how they will minimise draughts especially at ground level where infants lie and crawl and children play.

      Having a home too warm could lead to lethargy in children and adults.

      The Guidance for PF10 - heating, lighting and ventilation provides options for efficient heating to ensure that rooms can be kept at a comfortable temperature, while ensuring the safety of children.