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Parent Survey

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The ECE Parent Survey is an online survey developed for parents to give feedback to their early childhood service. The results are completely anonymous for parents and confidential to your service.

It is used by all types of centres and home-based ECE organisations. It was extensively tested in the sector before release, and it is now available for all ECE services. Items in the survey are internationally research-based and relevant to ECE in our country.    

Benefits of the ECE Parent Survey

parent survey or ECE sector survey

Parents and caregivers can do the survey easily and quickly online using their mobile device or computer.

We have done the work of designing the survey. We collate the results and prepare a report which we give to the service as a pdf. The report is confidential to the service.

  • Provides a snapshot picture of what parents think about the various aspects of their child’s care, education, and operation of the service.
  • Gives insight into parent views and needs while maintaining absolute confidentiality for parents.
  • Let’s you know which practices and provisions at your service are parents are most positive about so you can consider what you want to retain or continue doing and build on.

Public recognition

Should 80% or more families recommend your service and give ratings of very good to excellent on different aspects of quality then your service will be publicly recognised for this, in the national Register of ECE services published online at

To maintain recognition, services must have the survey carried out at least every three years and continue to achieve high ratings.

Further benefits of the parent survey

Parent satisfaction levels are important to know and to monitor – see ‘ways to be the best‘.  

Feedback from parents is vital to building good relationships with families and maintaining quality for children.

The ECE parent survey helps a service meet ERO and regulation requirements to consult and obtain feedback from parents, especially on key operational and quality matters affecting children.

Repeating the survey around the same time every two to three years can be helpful for measuring the effects that any changes have had on how parents see your service and the quality of it for their children.

Problems services experience when doing their own survey

You could choose to do your own in-house surveys, but problems of in-house surveys include:

  1. Parents can reject requests to do an in-house survey since protection of their identity cannot always be guaranteed – it can be possible for the ECE service to do a reverse identity look-up using the survey link or through IP addresses to identify individual parent comments.
  2. Questionnaires designed by people with little or no experience in survey design.
  3. Lack of testing of the survey questions before the survey is run for real.
  4. Questionnaires that may force parents to give answers the service wants to hear instead of what it needs to hear.
  5. Lack of objectivity.

Register to use the ECE Parent Survey 

Any ECE service can register for the parent survey. A small fee is charged to help to meet some of the cost of providing the survey service – unless your service is an OECE in which case it is provided for free as a member benefit.   

Registration steps

1. Download and complete the form

2. Return your completed form to us.

3. We will confirm if your registration can be accepted and ask what date you would like the survey to run. An invoice will be sent should any fee be payable. 

Here’s what two users have said:

Eric Hollis (Ole Schoolhouse Centre, Rotorua)
We have recently completed our third survey – we do it every two years. We were thrilled that nearly all our families took part. While it is always a bit nerve-racking waiting for the results, I cannot recommend the process highly enough. On one hand it affirms what you do well and on the other – it gives real data to use in self-review. Our recent survey helped us to strengthen the way we work with vulnerable families, which has been really helpful. We have shared the outcomes with all our staff and families, but it is up to you how you use the results. The ERO are always interested to know how we involve families, and this is one very positive way to do that.

Joelle Broom Pretorius (Future Kids Preschool, Hamilton and New Plymouth)
I found the communication really efficient about how to use this service (and under our membership it was free). It was super easy to set up. I appreciated the opportunity to do a test run of the survey myself prior to sending it to all our parents. I thought the questions in the survey were good and would provide us with good insights. We were not disappointed in this regard. We ran the survey at our 2 centres and had better participation in one over the other due to demographics and parents having access to internet. Running for 2 weeks with an incentive on offer helped us gain participation too. We now have some good insights to work from.

Has this been useful?  Give us your feedback.

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Information provided is of a general nature. It is provided ‘as is’, and we accept no liability for its accuracy or completeness. See our Terms and Conditions.

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