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.

HS2 Laundering

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and Safety practices criterion 2

      Linen used by children or adults is hygienically laundered.

      Documentation required:

      A procedure for the hygienic laundering (off-site or on-site) of linen used by the children or adults.


      The criterion aims to ensure that inadequate laundering practices do not pose a health risk to 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.

      Many items in a home based setting need prompt, regular washing. This should include bedding as well as towels, cloths, bibs and dress ups.

      Educators will need to ensure there is a good supply of linen on hand to cover any potential shortage.

      Documentation Guidance:

      The procedure should state:

      • What items should be laundered and how often
      • Who does the laundering
      • Are different types of laundry washed separately to prevent cross infection e.g. kitchen and bathroom linen separated from bedding linen for example?
      • If the washing is done at the home of the Educator, that it is done as a separate load to the household wash
      • That Regional Public Health Service recommends that all washing is done in hot water with an adequate amount of laundry detergent.

      For more information contact your local Public Health Service office.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      Items to be laundered include but are not limited to:

      • bedding
      • bibs
      • dress-up clothes
      • fabric play items
      • towels use for children if they become messy or wet whilst at the service
      • cloths used for art and messy play.