The Parents’ Choice Awards

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

The Parents’ Choice Awards

This is an annual award to recognise high-quality early childhood services. 

  • 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 acknowledged publicly by winning this award?
  • Does your service meet Ministry of Education expectations for compliance with regulations, and strive to provide better? 

Going for a Parents’ Choice Award will raise the profile of your service in the sector and its a great way to get community and public support too.

Winners will receive a badge that may be displayed on their website, parent enrolment forms, front door, etc. 

Also, you will get free online publicity – My ECE will publish an article on your service and highlighting why it’s a service of choice for parents. The media are likely to be interested in visiting your service or talking with a representative and give free promotion – though no promises on that and any requests by the media will of course be up to you to accept or not.


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. 

Applications and Closing Date

Service providers can make a self-nomination at any time and applications close annually in May (for the Parents Choice Award 2023 nominations close on 1 May 2023). 

Please make sure your service has met the criteria for an Award before contacting us for an application form.   

Should your service not meet the criteria yet, for example few parents have posted positive reviews then this is something that you could be working on improving now, ready for the next Awards round.

Award criteria

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

CriteriaHow measured 
1. The service has met 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)You will be asked to attest to this on the award application form. My ECE reserves the right to check with the Ministry.
2. Many parents/caregivers have given reviews and high ratings.The number of positive reviews and 5-star overall ratings achieved during the year (over 12 months) on the service’s listing in the My ECE national register.  
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. 80% or more families surveyed recommend the serviceAs shown in the results of your service’s OECE parent survey.  Results are valid for up to 3 years (36 months) from the date of the survey report. (Through preferably it will have been less than 2 years since your service last undertook the parent survey) If your service hasn’t recently undertaken a parent survey, do it now – here’s the link.
You will be asked to attest that 80% or more families surveyed recommend your service, on the application form for this award. My ECE reserves the right to check with the OECE.
4. The service abides by the Code of Ethical Conduct for Early Childhood ServicesThe service’s licensing history, parent survey results, and publicly posted reviews on My ECE, provide no red flags to suggest the service has a problem abiding by the Code of Ethical Conduct.You will be asked to attest to abiding by the Code on the award application form, 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

Apply Now

Is your service outstanding? Are you ready to apply for the Award?

Contact us for the application form – it is simple and quick to fill out with four text boxes for you to tick.


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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.