Applying for the Parents’ Choice Awards – Information for ECE Service Providers and Educators

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The Parents’ Choice Awards – “Celebrating the best ECE services for children and families”.

This annual award recognises high-quality early childhood services.

Parent's choice award ribbon and badge

The supreme winner in 2024 will receive The One Tree House Pre-School Library.  This is an English and multilingual library of 50 beautiful children’s books, with an estimated retail value of $1500.

The successful service/s will receive the Parents’ Choice Award badge with their name and year of award, to use on their signage, website, and printed materials.

2023 Award Winner Ole Schoolhouse ECE 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.”

Apply Now

Is your service outstanding?

Is the quality and difference your service makes such that families want to “shout from the roof-tops” and tell everyone?

Does your team deserve to have their skills, caring, and hard work publicly acknowledged?  

Please make sure your service has got lots of positive reviews from parents and holds a high rating on its listing in the National Register of ECE services.   

Are you ready to apply for the Award? Keep reading below for more information and how to apply.

Eligibility and Award criteria

Services can make a self-nomination at any time. Applications close annually on 1st May for an Award in any year.

The award is open to all early childhood services of any type and description, providing the service has held a full licence for at least 12 months by the date of nomination. 

The following criteria are taken into consideration for the Parents’ Choice Awards.

CriteriaHow measured 
1. The service meets Ministry of Education expectations for compliance with regulatory standardsNo licensing action has been taken against the service, under current or past owners/managers, within the last 3 years (36 months)
2. The service is rated highly and given positive reviews by parents The number of positive reviews from parents and caregivers in the 12 months prior to applying for the Award on the service’s listing in the My ECE national register.  What parents and caregivers have to say about the service and if they give it a high rating.
At least 6 positive reviews for services licensed for less than 70 children. At least 12 positive reviews for services licensed for 70 or more children.
To achieve this, give the link to your service listing in the National Register to parents and caregivers and ask them if they would like to post a review.  
3. The service is recommended by 80% or more of its families completing the parent survey. The results of your service’s OECE parent survey will show if families are happy to recommend your service. If your service hasn’t undertaken the parent survey in the last year or two, do it now – here’s the link to get started.
4. The service abides by the Code of Conduct for Early Childhood ServicesThere are no red flags to suggest that the service has a problem meeting the standards in the Code of Conduct.You will be asked to attest to meeting the standards in the Code of Conduct and that your service displays a copy of the Code, and/or all staff are familiar with it.


More than one award may be made in any year. 

No Parents’ Choice Awards will be made if no service satisfactorily meets criteria.

My ECE reserves the right to withdraw a service’s Parents’ Choice Award at any time after it has been given, should it come to My ECE’s attention that the service or its representatives misled, falsified, or did not disclose relevant information, or a subsequent event brings into question the goodness or safety of the service for children, or the service provider is convicted of a crime receiving a jail sentence or substantial fine (e.g., successful prosecution by WorkSafe).   

The criteria for the Parents’ Choice Award take cognisance of the following approaches to quality as outlined by Alexander (1999) in a paper titled: “Research and the Production of “Worthwhile” Knowledge about “Quality” in Early Years Education”. 

  • Client perspectives and benefits
  • Regulatory (a baseline measure)
  • Organisational approach – ownership by services of their individual quality

Application Form

Contact us for the application form – it is simple and quick to fill out with four text boxes for you to tick. Please make sure you meet the criteria (as detailed above) and are eligible to apply for the Award.


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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.