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.
HS9 Sleep furniture spacing
Health and Safety practices criterion 9
Furniture or items intended for children to sleep on (such as cots, beds, stretchers, or mattresses) are arranged and spaced when in use so that:
- adults have clear access to at least one side (meaning the length, not the width);
- the area surrounding each child allows sufficient air movement (to minimise the risk of spreading illness); and
- children able to sit or stand can do so safely as they wake.
The criterion aims to ensure that sleeping provisions are arranged so that they do not present a hazard to children's safety and wellbeing.
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
Allowing plenty of space between sleeping children will enable good air flow, limiting cross infection and children disturbing others. Sleep areas must be well ventilated to allow air to circulate.
The space between sleep furniture/items needs to allow the educator to easily check on children, ensure they are not too hot or cold, and check their breathing and enables the educator or other adults to move between them quickly in an emergency.
If children are capable of standing up in their cot or bed, ensure that there are no choking hazards within reach e.g. curtain cords.
- Things to consider
Things to consider
Consider using more than one room in the home to have children sleeping if this is possible. It can be difficult to provide undisturbed sleep for a child if other children in the same room are unsettled.