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.

C2 Assessment

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Curriculum criterion  2

      The service curriculum is informed by assessment, planning, and evaluation (documented and undocumented) that demonstrates an understanding of children’s learning, their interests, whānau, and life contexts. 

      Documentation required


      This criterion requires assessment for learning to ensure that the learning, development, and experiences provided for children are connected.

  • 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.

      A service curriculum that is informed by assessment, planning, and evaluation will notice, recognise and respond to the contributions made to the programme by the children, their families, staff, and community.  Experiences planned to support and enhance children’s learning will be purposeful and meaningful to them.

      A service will develop a process to assist them to meet this criterion taking into consideration the beliefs, values, knowledge, and aspirations of children, their families, staff, and community. To aid transitions, a hospital based process is likely to include interaction with the early childhood service that the child attends when they are not in hospital.

      Documentation and evidence gathered during this process may take a variety of forms to suit the service’s operation and can include: notes made by medical staff; observations and learning stories; examples of children’s work; posters and wall displays; recorded discussions; and policies and procedures. Children, their families, staff (including medical staff), and community should all contribute to this process. How information is gathered is not important – how it is used to inform the service curriculum and educator practice is important.

      The learning needs of children in hospital based settings are likely to change rapidly and the educator needs to be particularly sensitive and responsive to this change.

      Further information about Planning, Evaluation and Assessment can be found on pages 63-65 of Te Whāriki.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      Things to consider:

      • How do we identify what works well and what the barriers are to meaningful assessment, planning, and evaluation?
      • When changes are made to the assessment, planning, and evaluation process how do we ensure they are effective?
      • How is our assessment practice embedded in reciprocal and responsive relationships?
      • How do we encourage contributions from children, their families, and all staff, including medical?
      • How useful is the information we gather about children?
      • How are our current assessment practices supporting and enhancing children’s learning?
      • Whose knowledge is of value?
      • How are learning goals set for children, and who does this?
      • What factors influence our team’s views on assessment, e.g. the medical view? In what ways do these external factors have an impact?
      • How do we access knowledge that will assist us to support/enhance the learning for all children?
      • How do we ensure that we have an understanding of other world views and ways that these may influence learning outcomes for the child?

  • Practice
    • Practice

      Examples of what this might look like in practice:

      • Parents' views are sought and recorded
      • Stories about children’s learning in environments other than the early childhood service are included in the planning, assessment, and evaluation process
      • Children are supported by educators to be actively involved in assessing their own learning, doing things such as telling their own learning stories
      • Photographs and other observations are analysed to identify the learning that has occurred and how to build on it
      • A wide range of methods are used to gather information about children’s learning
      • Curriculum goals and assessment practices are consistent with service philosophy
      • Educators develop, in collaboration with parents/whānau, learning goals that acknowledge children’s heritages and support their understanding of their cultural identity.
      • Educators share their knowledge with parents/whānau.