Rate and Review Your Child's Service
Let other parents and families know if the service you are using is wonderful or if there is a problem with it
Go to the online directory (click here for the directory page) look up the name of your ECE service and add your review and rating.
Fair Trading Act
Consumer Guarantees Act
Does the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 apply to an early childhood education and care service? The answer is yes. To explain: by virtue of the Consumer Guarantees Act, there is a guarantee that educational services will be delivered by the ECE service with reasonable skill and care.
You may be able to ask for compensation to reflect the lower value of the service you have received.
Contact the consumer protection hotline at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
An early childhood service must have and display a complaints policy
A typical complaints policy will state that the complainant should first speak to the person in-charge / the boss / the supervisor / the manager.
We suggest that you write your complaint down using the complaint form and give this to the person in charge when first speaking to him/ her. This will tell the person in charge that your complaint should be taken seriously and they will have to provide a written response. If you don't get a response that you are happy with then take your response directly to the Ministry of Education.
Every early childhood service is legally required to display (or provide to parents in Home-based ECE) a copy of its complaints procedure and it must state the contact details for the relevant regional office of the Ministry of Education.
Laying a Complaint with the Ministry of Education
Should an early childhood service not be meeting a minimum regulation then let the Ministry of Education know (see contact details below). The Ministry of Education is responsible for licensing services and making sure that services meet regulations.
You can view information on the minimum regulation requirements for early childhood centres in the My ECE Guide to the Regulations click here.
Should you not be informed by the Ministry of Education of the outcome of its investigation of your complaint then contact the Ministry and ask for an update.
If you are not satisfied with how your complaint has been dealt with, then complain again. It is your right to be listened to and to have your complaint adequately investigated.
For example if your complaint concerns a teacher slapping a child and poor teaching practices you could reasonably expect the Ministry to carry out an unannounced visit of the service and spend some time observing the interactions of all teachers with the children, talk with the teacher concerned, other teachers who may have observed the incident, and talk with the child with the parent's permission. If a Ministry staff member only contacts the service and takes the manager's or owner's word that all is okay then it is not properly investigating the complaint.
Ministry of Education Regional Offices
Whangarei office: PO Box 911, Whangarei 0140. Northland. Ph (09) 436 8900
Auckland office: Private Bag 92644, Symonds Street, Auckland. Ph (09) 632 9400
Hamilton office: Private Bag 3011, Hamilton. Ph (07) 858 7130
Rotorua office: PO Box 1749, Rotorua. Ph (07) 349 7399
Napier office: PO Box 147, Napier. Ph (06) 833 6730
Lower Hutt office: PO Box 30177, Lower Hutt. Ph (04) 463 8699
Wanganui office: Private Bag 3012, Whanganui. Ph (06) 349 6300
Nelson office: 19 Haven Road, Nelson 7010. Ph (03) 546 3470
Christchurch office: PO Box 2522, Christchurch 8140. Ph (03) 378 7300
Dunedin office: Private Bag 1971, Dunedin 9054. Ph (03) 471 5200
Invercargill office: Private Bag 90-122, Invercargill. Ph (03) 211 3610
After talking to your Ministry of Education regional office, you may choose to provide a written complaint which increases the chances of your complaint being dealt with. You can request that your identity remain anonymous and that you are informed of the outcome of the Ministry’s investigation.
To be truly inclusive of all families and to serve children and their parents well an ECE service should actively invite parent and child feedback on every aspect of what it provides and does. Ask your service to implement the NZ ECE Survey of Parent Satisfaction and Experience. The survey results can be incorporated into what the service does and this will mean fewer complaints and happier parents and children.
Ethics and Best Practices
Click on the following titles for:
What the Regulations Say About A Complaints Procedure
The Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, Regulation 47, Criteria GMA1 requires services to inform parents of the procedure to follow if they wish to complain about non-compliance with the regulations.