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.

GMA4 Involving parents and educators

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Governance, management and administration criterion 4

      Parents of children participating in the service and adults providing education and care are provided with opportunities to contribute to the development and review of the service's operational documents (such as philosophy, policies, and procedures and any other documents that set out how day to day operations will be conducted).

      Documentation required:

      Evidence of opportunities provided for parents and adults providing education and care to contribute to the development and review of the service's operational documents.


      The criterion is underpinned by the belief that parent and whānau involvement can positively contribute to the service’s operation and quality of education and care provided to their 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.

      Hospital-based service providers are required to show evidence they have provided opportunities for parents and educators to contribute to the development and review of the service’s operational documents.

      Given the special nature of the service provided by hospital-based service providers, creating opportunities for parents and educators to engage with and have input into the service’s key operational documents could require considerable advance planning.

      Documentation Guidance:

      Evidence that parents have had opportunities to contribute to the development and review of the service's operational documents could include the following:

      • For meetings, attendance records and minutes could be considered as evidence.
      • If you are sending documents out to parents, having a sheet parents can tick and sign when they have reviewed documents would also be a way of recording evidence.
      • Documentation of discussions with families.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      If a child attending the service is from a family with separated parents, the Education and Training Act 2020 sets out the right of entry to early childhood education (ECE) services for parents and guardians.

      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

      Services will need to develop a process which supports staff to ascertain how a relationship between separated parents and the service may be established so that communication channels can be opened. This could include ensuring educators have a copy of the enrolment form so they are clear what any court orders are.

      Related downloads:

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