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.

PF13 Kitchen facilities

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Premises and Facilities criterion 13

      There are facilities for the hygienic preparation, storage and/or serving of food and drink that contain:

      • a means of keeping perishable food at a temperature at or below 4°C and protected from vermin and insects;
      • a means of cooking and/or heating food;
      • a means of hygienically washing dishes;
      • a sink connected to a hot water supply;
      • storage; and
      • food preparation surfaces that are impervious to moisture and can be easily maintained in a hygienic condition.

      To ensure that there are facilities to support the hygienic preparation and storage of food.

  • 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.

      1. Storing perishables – a fridge is the most practical way of storing perishable food and drink at a safe temperature and for keeping it protected from vermin and insects. The fridge should be large enough to store perishable food (including food brought by children) and any medication that requires refrigeration.
      2. Cooking and/or heating food – the appliances needed for cooking and/or heating food will depend upon the number of children you are cooking for and the type of meals being prepared. Options include microwaves, stove tops, and ovens.
      3. Washing dishes – some homes may have a dishwasher that can be used. If the home does not have a dishwasher and the educator washes dishes by hand the Ministry of Health recommends a hygienic method of hand washing dishes is followed:
        • Thoroughly wash the dishes in hot water that is at least 43°C.
        • Use adequate soap or detergent.
        • Rinse and disinfect the dishes in hot water by placing them in clean boiling water for 30 seconds, or in clean hot water that is at least 77°C for 2 minutes (make sure children are kept out of the area until the water has drained away).
        • Keep the dishes separate from each other while they are rinsed, for example on a dish rack.
        • Remove them immediately and let the air dry them. Never use a tea towel or cloth to dry or polish the dishes after they have been cleaned.
      4. Sink with hot water connection – having a sink with a hot water supply enables hand washing of items hygienically and to obtain hot water for other purposes, such as cleaning food preparation surfaces.
      5. Storage – open shelves should only be used to store sealed packets or food in containers. Cupboards or storage units used for storing food need to be fit for purpose and designed to reduce the chances of food becoming contaminated by vermin and insects.
      6. Food preparation surfaces – surfaces need to be constructed from or sealed with moisture-impervious materials, and designed in a way that minimises a build-up of dirt, food particles and bacteria, for example, in corners and joins. Check surfaces regularly for signs of wear and tear, chips, scratches, loose tiles, cracked grout, or worn sealant. Any of these can allow moisture to penetrate the surface and make the surface difficult to keep hygienic.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      Supervision of children in kitchens

      Some homes may have open plan kitchens and there are likely to be times when children will need to access kitchen and cooking facilities to take part in supervised activities, such as cooking and food preparation.

      Kitchens and cooking facilities are potentially dangerous places for children so access for children must be supervised.