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, 1018 KB] and printed.

The licensing criteria were last updated in May 2016.

GMA8 Annual plan

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Governance, management and administration criterion 8

      An annual plan guides the service's operation.

      Documentation required:

      An annual plan identifying 'who', 'what', and 'when' in relation to key tasks undertaken each year.


      An annual plan is part of good business practice and will show the Ministry of Education how the service intends to ensure ongoing compliance with all regulatory requirements and criteria.

      Updated 21 July 2011

  • 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.

      The annual plan describes what the service will do in the next 12 months. It is detailed enough to cover day-to-day events, for example, excursions, staff appraisals or professional development.

      Hospital managers should consult with and engage the ECE service in any planning that may impact on the service.

      The annual plan should be created in consultation with the Person Responsible and the relevant hospital personnel so that the teaching and learning needs of the children can be met. In developing the annual plan the following questions can be asked:

      • What purchases need to be made this year?
      • Is any major maintenance work required?
      • Will our staffing needs change?
      • Is any fundraising required?
      • How will the service better engage with their (parent) community

      The annual plan should be developed at the same time as the annual budget.


      Childcare Centre Annual Management Plan Example [DOC, 47 KB] 

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      • Strategic plans are not a licensing requirement. However, having a plan that looks beyond ‘this year’ to the medium or long term can be very helpful for services. Strategic planning enables a service to determine its direction and what it hopes to achieve in the future.
      • Strategic plans are best developed in consultation with all stakeholders, e.g. parents/whanau, management committees/staff.
      • Once strategic plans have been developed they should be reviewed and modified each year. Progress should be recorded, perhaps on the bottom or back of the annual plan.