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ACT Welcomes Cottontails Closure

ACT Education Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata today welcomed the decision by the Cottontials childcare centre in Fielding to close from tomorrow afternoon.

Mrs Huata said it was unacceptable that despite two damning ERO reports, the latest concluding that children at the centre were at risk and that there was evidence of ill-treatment of children, the centre had been allowed to remain open. “Even with an investigation into the serious allegations of mistreatment of children at the centre finally underway, there was still no move to close the centre to protect the children

“The Ministry did not even visit the centre until Tuesday. The complainants were not approached, two of the complainants were workers at the centre. This morning I asked the Special Education Service’s Chief Executive why there was such a delay in investigating the complaint. SES had no response,” she said.

“It was not until ACT raised the matter in Parliament that the centre moved to close. Had its owners not made the decision themselves the Ministry of Education would have allowed the centre to remain open until the end of the month,” said Mrs Huata.

“This case serves as an important lesson. Where such evidence of mistreatment of children is raised, immediate action must be taken to investigate the evidence and protect children from any further harm,” said Donna Awatere Huata.


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