Licensing criteria for home-based ECE services

The Education Act 1989 S309 defines home-based ECE services as the provision of education or care, for gain or reward, to fewer than 5 children under the age of 6 (in addition to any child enrolled at school who is the child of the person who provides education or care) in:

  1. their own homes
  2. the home of the person providing education or care
  3. any other home nominated by the parents of the children.

These services are licensed in accordance with the Education Act 1989 under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 [PDF, 501 KB], 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.

The licensing criteria were last updated in November 2016.

A copy of the licensing criteria can be downloaded from the right-hand column below.

For each criterion there is guidance to help services meet the required standards.

Licensing Criteria Cover

HS28 Child protection

  • Criteria
    • Criteria

      Health and Safety practices criterion 28

      There is a written child protection policy that meets the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. The policy contains provisions for the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect, and information about how the service will keep children safe from abuse and neglect, and how it will respond to suspected child abuse and neglect.

      The policy must be reviewed every three years.

      Documentation required:
      1. A written child protection policy that contains:
        1. provisions for the service’s identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect;
        2. information about the practices the service employs to keep children safe from abuse and neglect; and
        3. information about how the service will respond to suspected child abuse and neglect.
      2. A procedure that sets out how the service will identify and respond to suspected child abuse and/or neglect.
      Intent:

      Child protection policies support children’s workers to identify and respond to vulnerability, including possible abuse and neglect.

      Amended 26 February 2016

  • 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.

      Services must have a child protection policy that meets the Vulnerable Children Act's requirements.

      The policy must:

      • contain provisions on the identification and reporting of neglect and abuse, and
      • be written, and
      • be reviewed every three years.

      To be helpful, the policy should contain definitions of neglect and abuse so that staff can apply these consistently when needed. 

      Policies should also contain provision for ensuring children are protected from harm by any person present at the home.

      Services must make the policy and information about its practices available to parents (GMA1 - Parent access to information).

      Documentation guidance:

      The Oranga Tamariki website has a publication Safer organisations, Safer children [PDF; 1.06MB] that provides advice on good practice to help organisations draft high quality child protection policies and review their procedures.

      The guidelines include a review tool to help services identify gaps in current policies, information about what to include in a new policy, as well as example policies including a policy used in an early childhood education setting.

      The policy needs to be consistent with advice provided by CYFS that can be found in the publication called "Working together to keep children and young people safe [PDF, 3 MB]". 

      Educators and co-ordinators require guidelines and opportunities for training to further develop their knowledge and understanding of:

      • the signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect
      • roles and responsibilities around record keeping and reporting
      • responsibilities to children
      • limitations of their role.