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, 458 KB] and printed.

The licensing criteria were last updated in May 2016.

HS8 Room temperature

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and safety practices criterion 8

      Any ECE Activity Room is kept at a comfortable temperature no lower than 16°C (at 500mm above the floor) while children are attending.


      The criterion aims to uphold the wellbeing of 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.

      The ECE Activity Room is needed to be kept at minimum of 16°C at 500mm above the floor from the beginning of operating hours.

      It is important to note that this is a minimum requirement. Services may choose to keep their centres at a higher temperature.

      WHO guidelines state a minimum of 18°C for residential living spaces. The criteria requirement is lower than this to allow for temperature fluctuations due to doors opening to allow children to move between indoor and outdoor spaces.

      Having an activity room too warm could lead to lethargy in children and adults.