Winner of the 2023 ECE Service Parents’ Choice Award

Share Me

An early childhood centre in Rotorua, the Ole Schoolhouse, has won the prestigious Parents’ Choice Award out of more than 4,000 ECE services across the motu.

Centre co-owner, Eric Hollis, said that national recognition was hugely meaningful to his team and the centre community:

“As a very diverse whare kohungahunga, we work very hard to ensure that our whānau feel welcome, understood, respected, and involved. The award is a validation of the work we do. We are overjoyed that our families feel strongly enough to recognise this so publicly. Nāu i whatu te kākahu, he tāniko tāku.”

Receiving the One Tree House Pre-School Library of children’s books valued at $1,500 from One Tree House was an amazing added bonus in winning the Award.

  • “A great collection of multi-lingual books. Wonderful illustrations and a good range of literature.” (Pip)
  • “I love the colourful illustrations which add hugely to the storyline for our younger tamariki.” (Mary)
  • “It’s a great addition to our curriculum and the books are reflective of the diversity we embrace.” (Shar)
  • “The children were thrilled to see the new books as we added them to our reading corner. I am also able to learn more about this land as I share the books with our tamariki.” (Rita, a teacher who has recently migrated to NZ)

The bar for winning is set high. ECE services must be rated highly and receive positive reviews from parents and caregivers delighted with the quality provided.  Quality includes the support given to families and contributions made to children’s learning, confidence, safety, and health. 

Parents Choice Award Ole Schoolhouse 2023

Dr Sarah Alexander, chief advisor to the OECE (Office of ECE) said the secret to success in this preschool is: “a whole lot of love, ECE trained and qualified teachers, and strong connections with families”.

“The centre managers and teachers love the children and are dedicated to doing their very best for them.  Parents praise the educational opportunities provided to their children. They also comment very appreciatively on the wonderful support the centre provides to them as parents and that they feel included and part of the centre. 

“This centre has early childhood qualified leaders, it is well-managed, engages in continuous quality improvement, and acts in ethical and responsible ways.  Additionally, the centre recognises the status of tangata whenua in using and practising te reo and seeking advice about tikanga Māori from their local iwi.”

The Ole Schoolhouse is a 5-star rated service. To see what families say about it go to the Ole Schoolhouse page in the national register of ECE services.

Apply for the 2024 Award Now

Parents' Choice Award Ceremony at the Ole Schoolhouse. Jenny Nagle, Eric Hollis, and Sarah Alexander

Do you think your early childhood service is good enough to win a Parents’ Choice Award? If you think it is, why not check if it meets the criteria and apply now. Learn more by going to the Parents’ Choice Award application page here.


Kohanga Reo for children, family and whanau
Options Available to Parents for Childcare

Te Kōhanga Reo

There are over 460 Kōhanga Reo throughout Aotearoa so chances are you will find one in your area. You will find the welcome mat is

Read More »
caring for child, crying, leaving child, self-soothing
Learning and Social-Emotional Issues

Leaving Children to Cry

Self-soothing when a person chooses to be alone and do this is one thing – but leaving children to cry when care should be provided

Read More »
myECE white logo blue back

Join the Parents Council

Are you are parent, grandparent, or caregiver of a child under 6 years?    

Join the ECE Parents Council.   You will receive:

  • A monthly newsletter (free)
  • Survey invitations and notifications of important changes in ECE

We promise not to spam you with rubbish, just useful information.