12 April 2018
The Early Childhood Council welcomes the findings of the 2016 Early Childhood Education (ECE) Complaint and Incidents Report, and is pleased to note New Zealand continues to have a high standard for early childhood education.
The Early Childhood Council Chief Executive Officer, Peter Reynolds, says it is good to see the Ministry of Education is being more responsive to complaints.
We should have no tolerance for services that put children at risk through poor standards.
"This report shows the complaints processes are working, and that overall the number of complaints are down, when compared to the previous reporting period.
"It's also pleasing to see more support is being given to early learning services that need it following a complaint or incident," Mr Reynolds says.
Mr Reynolds notes one point of caution. As with all statistics, the data can be interpreted a number of ways and it is important to note that the statistics for childcare centres has come out roughly the same as it did in the previous report.
ECE and early learning services are made up of a range of service types including childcare centres, kindergartens, homebased, kōhanga reo, and playgroups. Services can be community or privately owned and operated.
In 2016 there were 4,609 licensed early childhood education (ECE) services and nga kōhanga reo (early learning services) operating in New Zealand, and 927 playgroups.
"It is reassuring to note that New Zealand has approximately 98% of ECE services meeting or exceeding the requirements in 2016," Mr Reynolds says.
ECE is complex, governed by many different rules and regulations, and it is important parents, whanau and caregivers can have confidence in the system and the ECE services they choose, and that there is a well-functioning complaints and monitoring system.
"While there are always ways that we can strive to do more and do better, the figures released in the report show that our systems are working and that the complaints and follow-up systems are functioning," Mr Reynolds says.
The Early Childhood Council is a not-for-profit membership body that represents the interests of almost 1,200 community-owned and privately-owned early childhood centres.
As well as ensuring the childcare centre voice is heard by education policy decision makers, the ECC provides our members with professional development opportunities, tools and support.