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 March 2023.
HS8 Sleep monitoring
Health and Safety practices criterion 8
A procedure for monitoring children's sleep is implemented, and information is communicated to parents about their child's daily sleep patterns.
A procedure for monitoring children's sleep.
The procedure ensures that children:
- do not have access to food or liquids while in bed; and
- are checked for warmth, breathing, and general well-being at least every 10-15 minutes (during day-time sleep), or more frequently according to individual needs.
The criterion aims to uphold the safety and wellbeing of children while they are sleeping, and minimise risk of harm.
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 implement a procedure for monitoring children’s sleep and keep a record of children’s sleep times.
A documented sleep procedure ensures that there is a consistent approach by educators to monitor the safety and wellbeing of children while sleeping. It will clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of the educator when children are sleeping.
If the child is sleeping in a room positioned reasonably close to where other children are playing, it is easier for the educator to regularly check children.
Keeping a record of sleeping times and checks by educators will ensure that parents have access to information about their child's sleeping patterns each day while they are in the care of the educator.
Keep the sleep records for the current year plus one additional year.
It demonstrates the fulfilment of the service’s duty of care; that children have been suitably monitored while sleeping to ensure their safety and wellbeing while in the care of the service. Co-ordinators should check the monitoring of sleeping times.
If ever a dispute were to arise between a parent and service regarding the care of their child around sleep, it would be useful for the service to be able to refer the parent to the documented procedure to demonstrate that good practice occurred.
- Things to consider
Things to consider
The use of technology does not reduce the requirement to physically enter the room and check on the sleeping child at least every 10-15 minutes and record these checks.
Issues that should be considered when using sleep monitoring technology in addition to the physical checks include:
- privacy and the collection of images and recordings
- maintenance of technology and associated batteries
- training in operation of technology
- testing accuracy and responsiveness of the technology
- circumstances where the technology will not be appropriate e.g. power cuts, child is unwell; and
- the agreement of the parents and/or guardians involved.