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.

GMA2 Parent access to information

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Governance management and administration criterion 2

      Parents are advised how to access:

      • information concerning their child;
      • the service's operational documents (such as its philosophy, policies, and procedures and any other documents that set out how day to day operations will be conducted); and
      • the most recent Education Review Office report regarding the service.

      Documentation required:

      Written information letting parents know how to access:

      • information concerning their child;
      • the service's operational documents; and
      • the most recent Education Review Office report regarding the service.

      The criterion aims to ensure that parents know how to access information about the service’s operation and their child’s education and care.

  • 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.

      Providing written information to parents could take a variety of forms. This information can be provided in a variety of ways including:

      • a handout for parents containing relevant information,
      • or a notice on the wall of the service.

      As parents are usually present and actively engaged with their children in hospital for much of the time, they see what is occurring and are involved in watching the child’s interactions with the play specialists. The educator may need to explain to them the purpose, educational benefits and learning from activities.

      Parents/caregivers need to be made aware that reports from ERO are free and available from the local ERO office on request.

      They can also be downloaded from the Education Review Office(external link).

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      There will be hospital policy covering adults who may not have access to a child. Unless a court order rules otherwise, all parents and guardians are entitled to:

      • Reports about their child’s participation and learning experiences in ECE
      • Participate in the opportunities provided by the ECE service to engage with parents
      • Have access to any official records held at the service about their child’s participation in that service.

      If parents wish to gain information related to a child’s participation in ECE that has been documented in clinical notes they will need to follow hospital policy for reading these notes.

      Note too, staff of hospital-based services may be strongly discouraged from retaining information about individual children on file separately from the clinical notes, as clinical notes are the official record of all aspects of a child’s stay. One way of dealing with this is by documenting "Learning stories" or similar during the child’s stay then giving them to the family when the child is discharged.

      Related downloads:

      Professional Practice regarding Separated Parents/Guardians [PDF, 181 KB]