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.

PF10 Heating, lighting, and ventilation

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Premises and Facilities criterion 10

      Parts of the home used by children have:

      • lighting (natural or artificial) that is appropriate to the activities offered or purpose of each room;
      • ventilation (natural or mechanical) that allows fresh air to circulate (particularly in sanitary and sleep areas); and
      • a safe and effective means of maintaining a room temperature of no lower than 18°C.

      To ensure the safety and well-being of 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.


      Efficient heating will ensure rooms can be kept at a comfortable temperature while children are attending. See HS21 – Room Temperature. There is a range of options but safety of children is paramount. See HS11 – Hazard Management.


      The materials and decoration used in your service will help to reduce noise levels for everyone’s benefit.

      As a general rule, two things help to reduce noise:

      1. Soft furnishings. The more soft furnishings you have, the more sound is absorbed. Some practical options are:
        • curtains
        • rugs and carpet
        • big cushions
        • couches/lounge chairs.

      2. Complex shapes. Complex shapes break up and scatter sound waves, reducing noise reverberation in the room.

        Practical examples are:
        • acoustic ceiling tiles
        • fabric draped from the ceiling
        • decorations on walls, especially thick wall hangings and 3-dimensional decorations rather than flat pictures
        • carpet attached to the underside of tables.

      Double glazing can be very effective in reducing outside noise, if this is a significant problem. However, it can be expensive to retrofit into existing windows, and alternative ventilation may be needed in place of opening windows.


      There must be adequate ventilation in every room in the home that is used by children. Good ventilation is particularly important for rooms children sleep in, where nappies are changed, and bathrooms.

      Good ventilation will:

      • supply fresh air for breathing
      • clear away pollutants and odours to improve air quality
      • help remove excessive moisture in the air
      • improve thermal comfort in warm weather by increasing air movement and removing heat.