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.

HS26 Medicine training

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and Safety practices criterion 26

      Adults who administer medicine to children (other than their own) are provided with information and/or training relevant to the task.

      Documentation required:

      A record of training and/or information provided to adults who administer medicine to children (other than their own) while at the service.


      The criterion aims to uphold the health and safety of children by ensuring that medication is given to children only by people with the necessary knowledge and skills.

  • 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.

      Educators need to feel confident and capable of providing the necessary support to children when they administer medication.

      Because educators do not generally have medical training, some form of training or information is required so they can do this. First aid courses do not commonly cover the correct administration of medicine, so this will not usually be sufficient.

      An example might be insulin injections for diabetics, EpiPens for anaphylactic shock, or the use of asthma inhalers with a spacer. Work together with the child’s family to find the best way of providing the training needed for staff in these situations.

      Training could be provided by any of:

      • the parents
      • the child’s GP or practice nurse
      • a public health nurse
      • a pharmacist
      • a foundation or society, e.g. asthma foundation

      For common medicines that are administered by mouth (such as antibiotics), the level of information needed will be minimal:

      • Check that the right dose (use a standard measuring syringe or spoon)
      • of the right medicine is given to the right child (double-check the details on the label each time)
      • at the right time (follow any instructions provided by parents or medical staff about this).

      Documentation Guidance

      Keep the record of training for the duration of the child’s enrolment or the educator’s employment, whichever is longer. This record should be kept with the child’s enrolment records.