Licensing criteria for home-based ECE services
The Education Act 1989 S309 defines home-based ECE services as the provision of education or care, for gain or reward, to fewer than 5 children under the age of 6 (in addition to any child enrolled at school who is the child of the person who provides education or care) in:
- their own homes
- the home of the person providing education or care
- any other home nominated by the parents of the children.
These services are licensed in accordance with the Education Act 1989 under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, 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, 541 KB] and printed.
The licensing criteria were last updated in November 2016.
Licensing Criteria Cover
PF19 Sleep facilities
Premises and Facilities criterion 19
There is space available for the restful sleep of children who need it at any time they are attending.
The criterion aims to uphold the wellbeing of children by ensuring there are adequate provisions for sleep. Home-based services are more able to respond to children's individual sleep needs regardless of their age, due to the smaller group size and family atmosphere. A single criterion ensuring that children's sleep needs are met in an appropriate way regardless of their age is therefore appropriate for this service type.
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.
Homes need adequate facilities to cater for occasions when a child needs to rest or sleep. How a service provides these facilities depends on what suits the home layout and parent expectations. It is preferable that a separate room is available so that, when a child chooses to sleep, there is a quiet area provided.
Consideration needs to be given to the number of children attending each home and the probability of multiple children needing to sleep/rest at the same time, particularly if there is more than one child under the age of 2 in care at the same time.
Consideration also needs to be given to the location of the sleep space in the home so the educator can maintain effective supervision of other children while monitoring sleeping children. See HS8 – Sleep Monitoring.