Starting a home-based ECE service

This is a guide for service providers interested in establishing a licensed home-based education and care service.

Home-based education and care premises and facilities

The list below details a range of issues to consider when setting up premises for the provision of home-based education and care. Service providers are responsible for ensuring that the requirements of the regulations are being complied with in respect of each home used in connection with the service.

It can be used by service providers, coordinators and educators to ensure that the premises being used for home-based education and care provision meet the requirements of regulation 45 (Premises and facilities standard: general)(external link) in the regulations.

  • Health and safety issues
      • Do buildings contain hazards such as lead-based paint and asbestos?
      • Do premises contain potential hazards – for example, leachate, long-life spray, chemical storage or poisonous plants?
      • Is there adequate lighting and ventilation?
      • Are the indoor areas of the premises able to maintain a temperature of not less than 16°C?
      • Are heating fittings safeguarded to prevent harm to children?
      • Is there adequate means to escape from a fire? How would you deal with an earthquake?
      • Are the premises safe and clean?
      • Is equipment able to be stored safely?
      • Are stairs, windows, balconies and exits kept safe? Are stairs, steps and ramps safeguarded or safely gated?
      • Are exposed flames, electrical power sockets, stoves or cooking hobs safeguarded/shielded or out of children's reach?
      • Are electrical jugs, kettles, irons, and their cords inaccessible to children?
      • Do you have a first aid kit that is equipped to an approved standard and is inaccessible to children?
      • Are structures holding water (such as swimming pools) secured against entry by children?

      (Refer to the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987(external link)).

  • Indoor space
      • Is an area available for the restful sleep of children?
      • Are there toilet and hygienic hand washing and drying facilities?
      • Is there an area for safe and hygienic nappy changing?
      • Is there a plumbing fixture (for example, shower, bath) for washing sick or soiled children?
      • Are there facilities (such as in a kitchen) for hygienic preparation, storage and/or serving of food and drink (as detailed in home-based ECE services criterion PF13)?
      • Is there a safe and hygienic space for children to sit when eating?
      • Are there safe and comfortable spaces (indoors and outdoors) for crawling, walking and floor play for any infants, toddlers, or children not walking?
      • Are children able to be seen easily when they are outdoors?
      • Is there at least 10 square metres of indoor play space in one space?
      • Is it possible to provide a range of educational activities?
      • Are there spaces for quiet activities?
      • Are there spaces for physically active play?
      • Are there safe storage spaces for children’s play equipment, personal belongings, cleaning materials and administrative records?
      • Is there an area for art preparation and clean up?
  • The outdoor area
      • Is the outdoor area easily accessible and available to children? Is there a smooth indoor-outdoor flow?
      • Does the outdoor area have good drainage in all weathers?
      • Is the area suitably surfaced?
      • Are there large open areas?
      • Are fences and gates able to be secured?
      • Is there shade from the sun?
      • Are there areas available that include natural materials?
      • Are children easily visible?
      • Are there spaces for physically active play?
      • Are there any sheds or garages that may store hazards and are these able to be made inaccessible?

      Regulation 45 (Premises and Facilities)(external link) and regulation 46 (Health and Safety)(external link) of the licensing criteria provide more details on these requirements.