Early childhood centre challenges education ministry's licence cancellation call in court

The Manawatū institution was about to be shut down over supposed curriculum breaches

Early childhood centre challenges education ministry's licence cancellation call in court

Manawatū early childhood centre Country Kindy is set to challenge in court the Ministry of Education’s move to have its provisional licence cancelled over supposed violations with regard to its curriculum, reported the NZ Herald.

The ministry said last week that in September, Country Kindy was placed on a provisional licence due to 17 "non-compliances" with early childhood regulations and rules. Thereafter, the centre failed to meet seven conditions of the provisional licence, including those related to "curriculum and governance" and "management criteria and regulations", as per statements published in the Herald.

Associate Education Minister David Seymour told RNZ that that the centre would stay open after it filed an action to overturn the ministry’s decision. Country Kindy’s licence was to be revoked on Monday at 5pm, but the ministry permitted a stay.

The Early Childhood Council, representative for over 1,300 early childhood centres, had called out the ministry last week for the decision to cancel Country Kindy’s licence.

According to Seymour, the government was examining the regulations around early childhood education and had found that the process of administration and compliance was not wholly aligned with the interests of children. Moreover, regulatory requirements could be a factor in the high cost of early childhood education.

“It’s fair to say I’m not very impressed that it’s got this far and I’ll be encouraging both parties to sort it out as quickly and as costlessly as possible”, he said in a statement to RNZ. “I received an email today from a centre manager telling me they have to maintain 19 different documents to remain compliant. I have the view that we need to be making it easier for people to focus on children’s safety and learning, and less on the paperwork”.

Country Kindy had not put children at physical risk or treated them poorly, Seymour noted. The ministry’s issues with the institution mainly centred around curriculum-related paperwork and compliance.

“That’s what I’ve asked them to take a long, hard look at and check they’re actually doing the right thing as a ministry”, he said in a statement published by the Herald. “I want educators to get on with the job. I want children in a safe environment. Anything more than that and we risk tying people up in red tape without making the boat go faster, as it were”.

Recent articles & video

How secure document storage solutions can protect your law firm

Pearce IP litigation head on how NZ legislation is handling new tech

Select Committee accepts NZLS recos for gangs amendment bill

The most influential members of NZ’s legal profession for 2024 revealed

New senior associates called up in MinterEllisonRuddWatts promotions

Tribunal takes rehabilitative approach to ex-lawyer who modified email chain

Most Read Articles

The most influential members of NZ’s legal profession for 2024 revealed

Lane Neave welcomes additions to senior ranks

Classic Cases Revisited: R v Brown – What Legally Constitutes Consent?

Succeed Legal successfully courts long-time DLA Piper partner as consultant