ECE standards and quality supported by complaints processes

11 June 2018

The Early Childhood Council (ECC) welcomes the findings of the 2017 Early Childhood Education (ECE) Complaint and Incidents Report, released by the Ministry of Education today.

The ECC is pleased to note New Zealand continues to have high standards for early childhood education services.

The ECC Chief Executive Officer, Peter Reynolds, says we should have no tolerance for services that put children at risk through poor standards and it is good to see the Ministry of Education being responsive to complaints.

"ECE is governed by a range of complex rules and regulations, and it is important parents, whanau and caregivers can have confidence in the systems and the ECE services they choose, and that there is a well-functioning complaints and monitoring system," Mr Reynolds says.

ECE and 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.

The Ministry of Education report shows overall there were a total 5,527 early learning services in 2017 and 339 complaints received that year. Of the complaints, 297 were investigated, and the Ministry upheld 166 of them related to 145 individual licensed services and playgroups (this represents around 2.6% of all early learning services).

"This report shows our standards for early childhood education is high and the majority of ECE services (more than 97%) meet or exceed the requirements," Mr Reynolds says.

Of course, there are always ways that we can strive to do more and do better.

The figures released in the report show the complaints and follow-up systems are functioning, and continually improving.

The ECC 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.