Two cases of serious child harm at early childhood centres have been reported by the media in this week.
An Auckland centre failed to inform parents of a 13 month-old that their toddler had fallen and hit his head on rubber matting and a skull fracture was later discovered. A 9 month-old was found alone at a locked centre in Porirua after staff had gone home for the day. Both centres are funded by the Ministry of Education and promoted as quality services. The Porirua centre is one of a group of privately owned Pasifika centres.
These cases illustrate the importance of ECE services, entrusted by parents to care for their children, making sure that every child is cared for and supervised and every staff member has a good understanding of legal requirements and knows correct processes to follow.
It is unusual for cases to come to light in the media but as the public reads about harm being experienced by children in ECE reporting to the media could increase.
In this article we commented that as the public reads about such things happening in ECE more cases will be reported to the media by parents and the public. Before the week was out, in Wellington's Saturday newspaper another case made front-page headline news and this concerned kindergarten teachers who reportedly had not noticed until sitting down for lunch that a 4 year old boy had left the kindergarten. The child, a special needs child, was later found wandering the streets by a fireman.