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.

HS12 Noise levels

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and Safety practices criterion 12

      All practicable steps are taken to ensure that noise levels do not unduly interfere with normal speech and/or communication, or cause any child attending distress or harm.


      The criterion aims to uphold the health and wellbeing of children by ensuring that steps are taken, when necessary, to manage high noise levels in day-to-day operation (as in the case of ongoing construction next to the service).


  • 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.

      Managing noise levels will benefit everyone in the home. Establish expectations with children about what is an acceptable level of noise inside.

      You can create quieter spaces for children simply by using low partitions that children can snuggle up against, especially with a few cushions around, and carpet or rugs to sit on.

      Beware of environmental noise from outside the home such as road works or construction nearby and try to ensure that negative effects are reduced where possible. If possible, the educator should attempt to ascertain the length of time the noise might occur and if appropriate make contingency plans:

      • When might it be appropriate to temporarily relocate the children to another educator’s home?
      • How would parents/whānau be consulted or advised?