Licensing criteria for hospital-based ECE services

Section 10 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link) defines hospital-based education and care service as the provision of education or care to 3 or more children under the age of 6 who are receiving hospital care.

ECE services operating from hospital premises that provide education and care to siblings of patients or children of hospital staff or patients are centre-based ECE services, not hospital-based ECE services.

Hospital-based 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, 1.2 MB] and printed.

The licensing criteria were last updated in September 2022.

C10 Behaviour management

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Curriculum Criterion  10

      The service curriculum supports children’s developing social competence and understanding of appropriate behaviour.

      Documentation required


      This criterion recognises the importance of children’s social confidence in establishing and maintaining relationships with other children and adults.

  • 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.

      As children learn to make sense of their world and develop working theories they develop an understanding of themselves in social contexts including the early childhood service.

      What is viewed as social competence and appropriate behaviour may vary from setting to setting. In a hospital it will depend on the values that families, educators, and the hospital hold. It is therefore vital that educators, parents, the medical staff, and children share with each other their understandings of social competence.

      The environment, our expectations, and our teaching practices will be strong indicators of what we consider to be socially appropriate and competent behaviours.

      A service curriculum that supports social competence and understanding of appropriate behaviour will provide ongoing opportunities within flexible settings for children to practise through actions, words, and behaviours their growing development.

  • Practice
    • Practice

      Examples of what this might look like in practice:

      • Educators emphasise what to do, rather than what not to do, in explanations and instructions
      • There are enough resources to promote children’s choices for challenge, revisiting, exploration, solitary, and group play
      • Relationships and interactions in the service engender respect between children, and between children and educators
      • Educators use a range of conversations skills to encourage children to talk and think about relationships and the consequences of different responses to a given situation or problem
      • Children know the limits and boundaries of acceptable behaviour
      • Children are only offered genuine choice
      • The service curriculum provides opportunities to discuss and negotiate rights, fairness, and justice with adults.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      Things to consider:

      • What are the limits and boundaries in our service? How are these negotiated and shared with children and their families?
      • What are our expectations of the range of behaviours children will demonstrate in the early years and in stressful situations?
      • How does the structure of our staffing support the development of children’s social competence?
      • What is my image of children? What is my team’s image of children?
      • How do we evaluate the effectiveness of our teaching strategies in relation to the development of children’s social competence?
      • How do my own personal values impact on, and influence my teaching practice?
      • How do our routines and rituals support children’s developing social competence?
      • How do we manage challenging behaviours in respectful and dignified ways?