Early Childhood Education (ECE) Complaints Summary 2015

New Zealand’s early childhood education (ECE) licensing standards are among the highest in the world. At any one time, 98% of ECE services me ngā kōhanga reo are meeting or exceeding those standards. This is reflected in a parental satisfaction rating of 85% according to the State Services Commission’s ‘Kiwis Count’ survey released in 2015.

When parents are unhappy with any aspect of their child’s kindergarten, kōhanga reo, home-based ECE service or playcentre, it’s important that they raise a complaint with the service promptly. While the majority of complaints are able to be resolved by the service, if parents aren’t satisfied with the response, they should contact their local Ministry of Education office.

We take every complaint seriously and assess each one carefully before deciding whether to investigate further.

In 2015, we received 342 complaints about ECE services me ngā kōhanga reo. After our initial assessment, just over half (183) required further investigation. Of the 183 complaints investigated, 49 were upheld and 55 were partly upheld. The actions taken to address these ranged from providing advice and guidance to a service, reviewing policies and procedures, ongoing monitoring, professional development, issuing a provisional licence or suspending or cancelling the licence.

Of the 183 investigated, 69 complaints were not upheld*, and for 10 complaints the investigation is continuing. We did not undertake further investigation for 159 complaints, referring these back to the service or other appropriate agencies.

*An ‘upheld’ complaint is where our investigation found there were grounds for complaint.

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