Early Childhood Education (ECE) Complaints Summary 2014

Over 96% of children have started school having participated in quality Early Childhood Education. Our Early Childhood Services are among the best in the world, and a recent State Services Commission survey showed parents give them an 85% satisfaction rating. With around 200,000 children enrolled in Early Childhood Education and over 4000 services on offer, a robust complaints process is very important.

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to raise any matters of concern with their child’s kindergarten, home-based service, playcentre or kōhanga reo directly with the teacher concerned or the service’s manager. The vast majority of concerns are resolved this way. If the concern is not resolved, parents and care-givers are encouraged to raise their concerns with the Ministry of Education. We then assess the complaint and investigate when there is clear evidence of a service not taking adequate action.

All Early Childhood Services must clearly display information about making a complaint, and if not satisfied with the response, people are encouraged to contact their local Ministry office.

In 2014, the Ministry significantly increased efforts to encourage families and Early Childhood Education services to use the complaints process and ensure families know how to complain by providing updated guidance on our website and releasing information about all complaints received in 2013.

In 2014, we assessed 360 complaints, most of which were about the management and administration of the Early Childhood Service, or general health and safety concerns including food policies, head lice, toileting procedures and sunburn. Less than one third were upheld.

An ‘Upheld’ complaint refers to any complaint where after investigation the complaint was substantiated. When a complaint is upheld the Ministry can take a range of actions to address an upheld complaint, depending on the specifics of the complaint. This includes the provision of advice and guidance, review of policies and procedures, ongoing monitoring, professional development or licensing intervention (i.e. issuing of a provisional licence or licence suspension/cancellation).


Summary report of ECE complaints received by the Ministry of Education 2014

Complaints process (external link)

Kiwis Count survey (external link)


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