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Please Protect Our Children Trevor

ACT is appalled that a child care centre which has received two critical reports from the Education Review Office is being allowed to remain open.

ACT MP Penny Webster today said an ERO report dated 20 April 2000, recommended the immediate suspension of the licence of Cottontails Education Centre in Fielding. The report concluded that children were at risk in the centre, and there was evidence of ill-treatment.

“How many reports does the ERO have to write before the Minister listens?” Mrs Webster asked Education Minister Trevor Mallard during Parliamentary Questions today what action he was taking to remedy the situation. Mr Mallard said that an investigation was underway.

“The ERO recommended the immediate suspension of Cottontails licence, yet Mr Mallard has failed to do this. He has not even guaranteed the children’s safety by closing the centre until the investigation is completed. “

High profile cases of child abuse in the media recently have caused New Zealanders to be worried about the level and effects of this abuse.

“What kind of message does it send to the community when a childcare centre that is under investigation for serious child abuse offences is allowed to continue operating?

“Cottontails Childcare Centre’s licence should be suspended until the investigation is completed and the Minister can guarantee all of the children’s safety,” said Penny Webster.

ends.

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