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.

HS1 Hospital legislation compliance

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and safety practices criterion 1

      The hospital from which the service operates has been granted certification under the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001 either:

      • for a period of at least 3 years; or
      • for a period of less than 3 years, but the lesser period of certification does not reflect problems identified with requirements relating to the hospital’s health and safety practices that would affect children participating in the ECE service.

      Documentation required:

      1. Copy of the current certificate issued to the hospital under the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001, and
      2. If the certificate denotes a certification period of less than 3 years, a copy of the Corrective Action Plan from the hospital’s Audit Report, showing that failure to meet health and safety practices requirements that affect children participating in the ECE service is not the reason for a shorter certification period being granted.

      The Ministry of Education places fewer health and safety related requirements on hospital-based services, because the hospital within which the service operates is subject to Health legislation that achieves many of the same outcomes. This criterion has been added to make clear that ongoing compliance with Health legislation (on the part of the hospital) is an integral part of compliance with this standard. Advice from the Ministry of Health has indicated that a hospital that has been granted certification for a period of 3 years or more will be performing to at least the equivalent standard required of other ECE service types.

      If certification has been granted for a shorter period of time, the Ministry of Education will view the Corrective Action Plan that forms part of the Hospital's Audit Report, in order to be satisfied that the relevant aspects of operation remain compliant.

  • 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 services need to provide evidence that there is a current certificate issued to the hospital under the Health and Disability Services Act 2001.