Complaints about your early childhood education service

If you have an issue with something at your child's early childhood education (ECE) service or kōhanga reo you have every right to talk to them about it and make a formal complaint if you're still not happy.

What can I do if I have a concern?

If you are unhappy with anything at your child's ECE service or kōhanga reo a good first step is to have a chat to one of the educators, kaiako, the manager, or the owner.  

If the problem doesn't get resolved this way you can make a formal complaint to the ECE service or kōhanga reo.

How do I make a formal complaint?

You will need to follow the ECE service or kōhanga reo's complaint process.

Every ECE service and kōhanga reo must have one and it should be displayed where parents and whanua are able to see it.  It is often found on a notice board beside the licence. If you can't find it, ask a staff member for a copy or to explain the process.

What if I'm not happy with how my complaint is handled or want to make an anonymous complaint?

You can contact the Ministry of Education directly and discuss your concerns. You can remain anonymous when talking to the Ministry if you wish.  Contact your local Ministry of Education office, or special education staff.

The Ministry takes complaints seriously. Along with their education and care, the health and safety of every child attending and ECE service or or kōhanga reo is of the highest importance.

You can also get free legal advice from Youthlaw. Call 0800 884 529 or go to their website.

I think my child's safety is at risk. What should I do?

If you believe that a child has been, or is likely to be, harmed while in ECE care, talk to CYF (Child, Youth and Family) or the NZ Police and let the Ministry of Education know too. This includes physical, emotional or sexual harm.

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