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.

PF4 Storage

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Premises and facilities criterion 4

      There are spaces for the safe storage of equipment and materials.


      To ensure that equipment is safely stored.

  • 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.

      Storage space is needed for the variety of indoor and outdoor equipment and resources that are required.

      Children will need to have access to enable some choice from stored equipment and materials to support children’s learning.

      If equipment is accessed outside of the service’s hours of operation, consider a designated area for that equipment.

  • Things to consider
    • Things to consider

      • How will storage facilities be arranged to ensure easy access, minimise congestion and ensure safety?
      • How will the range of indoor and outdoor equipment and material be stored?
      • Pay particular attention to frequently used areas.
      • Avoid over stacking both on top of and inside cupboards.