Complaints Procedure and Complainant Rights

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All ECE Services are required to have “a procedure people should follow if they wish to complain about non-compliance with the Regulations or criteria”.  Services are only required to include in the complaints procedure information on how parents may complain and not how to complain.

The written complaints procedure must state that parents have an option to contact the local Ministry of Education office and include contact details for the local Ministry of Education office. 

It is not a legal requirement that complaints have to be made first to the service provider or to any person associated with the service. 

Complaints regarding non-compliance with any regulatory requirements can be made directly to the Ministry of Education.  Or complaints can be made online through our My ECE website, using the online complaints form, to protect your identity.

Informing parents of the complaints procedure

Centres are required to prominently display a written complaints procedure.

Home-based services are required to advise parents on how they can access its complaints procedure.

The right to be listened to and have a complaint looked into 

The Ministry of Education has the role of licensing ECE services, monitoring compliance, and enforcing compliance with regulatory requirements.   It therefore must respond to complaints it receives against any ECE service.  Should it not, then you can complain to the Ministry of Education head office about its handling of your complaint – email: [email protected].  Should you not get a satisfactory response from the Ministry’s head office, there is an option of informing the Ombudsman of problems you have had with the Ministry of Education.   

Health reports

As part of investigating any service for compliance with regulatory requirements, the Ministry of Education may direct a service to obtain a health report to determine compliance with requirements related to:

  • Floor surfaces.
  • Art materials clean up facilities.
  • Lighting, ventilation, room temperature, water temperature, sounds levels.
  • Food and drink preparation, storage, serving.
  • Toileting, hand washing/ drying, nappy changing, privacy.
  • Managing hurt, sick, or soiled children.
  • Sleep furniture, linen, process.
  • General hygiene of premises, furniture, fixtures, fittings, equipment, and materials.
  • Animals.

Failing to meet minimum standards

The Ministry of Education needs to know:

  • If you are concerned children’s needs are not being met.
  • If you are concerned a service is not meeting a minimum legal requirement.

READ MORE: How to make a complaint and your options.

CAUTION: This page and the information here is provided as part of the My ECE Guide to Regulations and Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education Services (The Guide).  The Guide does not purport to be a full and accurate interpretation of all statutory provisions relating to early childhood education services. While best efforts have been used in preparing this guide, no representations or warranties of any kind are made and My ECE assumes no liabilities of any kind with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the content. Please note that the Government and Ministry of Education may change, update, or alter any of the requirements at any time.  Please help to keep the information on this page up to date by letting us know of changes that need to be made.
Thank you!  Kia pai te rā

Complaints Procedure and Complainant Rights. Published in the My ECE Guide to Regulations and Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education Services, prepared by Dr Sarah Alexander and Warwick Marshall.

Last reviewed: 20 November 2022


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