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, 1.6 MB] and printed.
The licensing criteria were last updated in September 2022.
HS10 Storage of sleep furniture and bedding
Health and Safety practices criterion 10
If not permanently set up, furniture or items intended for children to sleep on (such as cots, beds, stretchers, or mattresses) and bedding is hygienically stored when not in use.
The criterion aims to prevent cross-infection by ensuring that sleep provisions used periodically (i.e. not permanently set up) are hygienically stored when not in use.
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
Furniture such as cots, beds, stretchers or mattresses and bedding that is used periodically needs to be hygienically stored when not in use to prevent cross-infection. Spraying and wiping cots, beds and mattresses with a suitable cleaning agent is needed before storage. Linen must be removed from the mattresses and not stacked in between mattresses.
If bedding is to be used for the same child over the course of a week it could be either labelled with the child’s name or in a labelled bag.
There will need to be adequate hygienic storage for this purpose. You will also need to ensure that the storage does not create hazards to children but is easily accessible to the educator. For bedding, this could be in the linen cupboard.
Areas used for storage of sleep furniture should be dry and well aired.