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, 1.6 MB] and printed.
The licensing criteria were last updated in January 2022.
Premises and facilities criterion 11
A telephone or other means of communication is available in the ECE Activity Room to enable adults providing education and care to call for assistance when necessary.
To ensure service staff can call for assistance from medical staff as required.
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 play specialists need to have some means of calling for help in an emergency when they are in the ECE activity room. A phone is one way, but a call bell or intercom system (perhaps linked to the nurse’s station) may be another option.