July 10, 2024

Country Kindy to stay open

The Early Childhood Council has welcomed the decision to grant a stay of cancellation of licence so that Manawatu’s Country Kindy can continue operating for 12 weeks while their appeal progresses, and alleged issues can be resolved.

“Country Kindy achieved this because they have such a supportive parent community, dedicated staff and happy and safe children who are engaged in their learning. Today’s decision avoids a more costly legal route, as Country Kindy, with the ECC’s support, was prepared to defend itself,” said ECC CEO Simon Laube.

“Closure was narrowly avoided - this case should serve as a warning to all ECE providers that this could happen to them. I’m proud that ECC was able to intervene, with our members standing in solidarity. Today’s result doesn’t change the fact that providers are at risk of the regulator acting unreasonably, and imposing disproportionate sanctions that mean services have to close, and which destroy livelihoods and take away children’s educators and carers. That problem persists, and must be addressed through the ECE Sector Regulation Review.’”

“While it’s extremely encouraging the Minister provided a check on the Ministry’s regulatory conduct, the fact remains that the Country Kindy case has exposed a system where the Ministry can effectively be ‘judge, jury and executioner’ of ECE services.”

“I want to especially thank Fiona and her team who had the courage to stand up for what’s right, the parents, grandparents, and members of the community that spoke up, and everyone who supported Country Kindy’s plight,” said Simon Laube.