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.

HS6 Securing furniture

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and Safety practices criterion 6

      Heavy furniture, fixtures and equipment that could fall or topple and cause serious injury or damage are secured.


      The criterion aims to uphold the safety 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.

      In all areas of the home, large and heavy items of furniture, equipment and appliances such as pianos, free standing fridges and stoves should be secured to the structure of the building. Check the strength of the wallboards and follow manufacturers’ instructions.

      Other home appliances such as televisions, stereos or microwave ovens should be secured with industrial Velcro or non-slip mats. See the EQC website for more information(external link).

      Lighter things such as books and blocks can also cause injury if they fall on children.

      When deciding which objects to secure, consider the height of the shelf or table it is on. A television falling off a low stand could still injure an infant lying on the floor nearby.

      Where possible place toy boxes and popular play equipment and resources away from the free fall zones of larger appliances and shelves as well as large glass areas.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      When securing these items, the following guidelines will be useful:

      • Always fasten to the structure of the building. Studs are fine, but wallboards may be too weak.
      • Make sure that the fastenings you use are strong enough to hold the weight of the heavy object. What will happen if it gets bounced up/down?
      • When you can, try to fasten objects near the top rather than at the bottom. If you cannot, then the fastenings at the bottom will need to be very strong. This is because of the leverage effect when something topples (a fridge for example).