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.

PF6 Art sink

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Premises and facilities criterion 6

      There are hygienic facilities (other than those used for body wash) or alternative arrangements available for the preparation and cleaning up of paint and other art materials.


      To ensure that services provide separate washing facilities for art materials to maintain hygiene.

  • 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.

      There needs to be adequate space and facilities to prepare and clean up paint and other art materials. Body wash facilities must not be used for art preparation and clean up.

      It is preferable that the art preparation and clean up facility is a separate plumbed-in sink or tub unit that is used exclusively for this purpose.

      If a dedicated art sink is not possible at your centre, you will need to have an acceptable alternative system. Alternative systems should (as much as possible) eliminate the risk of art materials either causing contamination, or becoming contaminated by pathogens or toxic substances.

      Alternative systems may include:

      • using one or more buckets to wash materials, and disposing of the waste water in a cleaner’s sink or down an outside gully trap
      • placing an insert into a sink facility used for another purpose to prevent art materials from coming into contact with any cleaning waste or chemical residues, and/or to prevent paint or waste water from coming into contact with the sink.

      Robust cleaning procedures are needed to ensure all facilities are thoroughly cleaned before and after being used for art preparation and clean up.