An investigation by the Ministry of Education into a Thames childcare centre has led to its licence being cancelled.

The Ministry received a number of complaints including allegations of children being shut in a back room, having food withheld from them as punishment and being force fed, Stuff reports.

Sealey Street Childcare had its licence suspended by the Ministry of Education on July 20 after a number of breaches in teaching practice and health and safety were discovered.

Ministry of Education deputy secretary sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said the breaches covered a range of areas and were the reason behind the cancellation.

“The breaches were across the curriculum, premises and facilities, governance, and management and administration criteria, and included inappropriate child behaviour management strategies,” she said.

“Due to the serious breaches, we have cancelled Sealey Street Childcare’s licence, as of 27 August 2018.”

Fewer than 20 children were enrolled at the centre when the licence was suspended in July, Stuff report.

Casey said the Ministry provided parents with information and support to transition their children to other services in Thames.

Other allegations made against the centre included children being restrained at tables, shaming and bullying of children, putting them into cots they could not get out of alone, forcefully holding them down on beds for up to an hour while other children watched, and dragging and rough handling of children.

The centre has been approached for comment.

Childforum chief executive Dr Sarah Alexander said the type of behaviour which took place at the childcare centre should never have been allowed to go on for so long.

She told Stuff the investigation pinpointed major flaws in the way the early childhood sector is monitored.

“Government policy under the previous and current government is to promote children being in childhood education, but we don’t have sufficient scrutiny of the quality. There are no annual checks required,” she said.

The centre’s last Education Review Office (ERO) report, in 2016, uncovered the centre met all legal obligations and was safe and nurturing relationships between children and teachers was evident.

In July, the Ministry of Education released a report into the number of complaints it received about early childhood education services in 2017.

Cases of rough handling, inadequate supervision and children going unfed were surfaced in a horrific catalogue of complaints against the sector.

They received 339 complaints about early learning services and investigated 297 of them – the further 42 did not require an investigation.

Of those investigated, 166 were upheld, which means that standards were either not met or the investigation found there were areas which needed improvement.

Source: NZ Herald


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