Govt must ensure children’s safety at ECE centres

The New Zealand National Party

The Ministry of Education must ensure children enrolled at Manurewa West Kindergarten are safe and, if necessary, suspend the Kindergarten from caring for children while investigations are underway, National’s Early Childhood Education spokesperson Nicola Willis says.

“The incident involving Masua Tusa is incredibly disturbing. A young, vulnerable child has had an unexplained accident, leading to awful injuries, medical care doesn’t seem to have been sought and parents have not been pro-actively informed.

“The Ministry of Education must assure parents that Manurewa West Kindergarten is a safe place for them to be sending their children.

“The Ministry should conduct a thorough investigation into this matter including working with WorkSafe and the NZ Police if necessary. If that investigation requires an interim suspension of the Kindergarten’s service, then so be it.

“Parents don’t expect this to happen in a Government licensed and monitored early childhood education (ECE) service.

“All Mums and Dads rely on the Government to ensure laws and regulations are being enforced in licensed ECE services. We expect good systems and processes are in place to keep our children safe. It appears massive failures have occurred here.

“All families with children at Manurewa West Kindergarten deserve to know whether their children are safe in its care.

“Most ECE teachers and services do an incredible job and parents are confident about the education and care their children receive. The Government must act decisively when incidents of this nature occur so that parents can be assured their confidence is well-placed.

“The key priority right now is the safety of children, and the Government must act as openly and transparently as possible so that parents have the information they need to ensure their children are safe.”

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