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ECE Service Closures and Licence Cancellations this Year

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Boys playing outside co-operatively in box with bark chips in early childhood playground.

Below are the names and numbers of ECE service closures – services that closed permanently in the first half of 2023.

Between 1 Jan 2023 and 30 Jun 2023, 113 licences were cancelled in total.

There are claims that the number of closures represents a crisis in the ECE sector. But note that as many as 52 of these licences were held by just one operator – the Rainbow Corner Group (PORSE and Rainbow Corner centres), and also note the many varied reasons why licences are cancelled, and this includes why operators may themselves choose to close.

Not all closures represent a loss of service. Three licences were cancelled for the purpose of merger – instead of operating multiple licences on the same site a service provider may choose to cancel one licence and increase child numbers on their other licence. The licence of one centre was cancelled as it was relocating to new premises and then it was relicensed, so in fact it continues to operate.

Many of the ECE service closures were of services that were not up to scratch and had compliance issues. Many of the licences cancelled due to non-compliance with a licence suspension notice because the named service provider was no longer in control of the service due to liquidation, also had prior issues of non-compliance with education regulatory standards. See the names of services that had licences downgraded for breaching standards in 2023 and 2022.

The OECE knows that operators can run into problems that result in licence cancellation when they take on one or more new services or purchase existing services and expand too rapidly. They under-estimate debt/ financing requirement costs or potentially over-estimate revenue.

We also know operators that close because the best return on the capital that they had to invest came from selling the property and not from operating an ECE centre. This will happen more often if property values escalate again. However, operators may also look to where the price of land is cheaper, where new home buyers are going, and face opportunities to open in new areas of family expansion (colloquially dubbed “nappy valleys”).

Retirement and not wanting to run an early childhood service anymore is a reason why some private providers choose to close.

When equipment, toys, and buildings become dilapidated or no longer able to be used, the costs of refurbishment needed, renovations, or relocation may be unaffordable leading to a decision to close permanently.

The reasons for licence cancellation recorded by the ministry as shown in the Table below were:

  • 34 licences cancelled due to non-compliance with a licence suspension notice.
  • 51 licences due to the operator’s voluntary decision to close and cease operating.
  • 16 licences cancelled due to a declining roll and not enough children enrolled to justify continuing to operate the service.
  • 7 licences cancelled due to financial reasons.
  • 3 licences cancelled as merged with other licences held by service providers.

The numbers by type of service are:

  • 95 Commercial and private service licences
  • 18 Public and Community-based service licences
  • 53 Teacher-led centres including 2 Free Kindergarten licences
  • 56 Homebased licences
  • 2 Te Kōhanga Reo licences
  • 2 Playcentre licences

ECE Service Closures – 1 Jan 2023 and 30 Jun 2023

ProviderOwnershipService NameLicence IDReason recordedType of Service
8’s Enuff Sole TraderCommercial/ Private8’s Enuff Pakuranga, Auckland25195Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
A sole traderCommercial/ PrivateTapa Kids World, Auckland46597Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
Aspiring Services LtdCommercial/ PrivatePuddleducks’ Palmerston North52515MergerTeacher-led centre
Aspiring Services LtdCommercial/ PrivatePuddleducks’ Palmerston North50041MergerTeacher-led centre
Barnardos IncPublic or Community-basedBarnardos Huia-Gisborne55250Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
Bay of Plenty Educare LtdCommercial/ PrivateBay of Plenty Educare Rotorua47912Declining rollTeacher-led centre
Bernard Goldwater TrustPublic or Community-basedKadimah Preschool, Auckland. Licence cancelled. Moved to new premises and now operating under a new licence.20335Voluntary licence cancellationTeacher-led centre
Best Start Educare LtdCommercial/ PrivateBestStart Parnell, Auckland20519Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
Canterbury Westland Free Kindergarten AssnPublic or Community-basedKidsfirst Kindergartens Ngaire Larcombe, Christchurch 5439 Financial reasons Teacher-led centre Free Kindergarten
Canterbury Westland Free Kindergarten AssnPublic or Community-basedKidsfirst Kindergartens Isleworth Rd, Christchurch5426Financial reasonsTeacher-led centre Free Kindergarten
Cottontails Childcare LtdCommercial/ PrivateCottontails Childcare Whangaparaoa47442Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
Creators Private TrustCommercial/ PrivateCreators Forest Lake, Hamilton45369Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre 
Dreamlink LtdCommercial/ PrivatePlay House, Auckland47968Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
Eduall LtdCommercial/ PrivateFamily Tree Homebased Woodend47057Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
Edubase LtdCommercial/ PrivateHome Grown Kids Wellington 3, Porirua46182Declining rollHomebased Network
EVOLVE: Lollipops  Commercial/ PrivateLollipops Te Rapa, Hamilton30261Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
EVOLVE: LollipopsCommercial/ PrivateLollipops Parnell, Auckland25436Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
EVOLVE: LollipopsCommercial/ PrivateLollipops Hazeldean, Christchurch70141Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
Gumdrops & the ELC Ltd GroupCommercial/ PrivateElmwood Preschool, Christchurch 70356 Financial reasons Teacher-led centre 
Gumdrops & the ELC Ltd GroupCommercial/ PrivateHalswell Preschool, Christchurch65082 Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
Gumdrops & the ELC Ltd GroupCommercial/ PrivateGumdrops ELC Christchurch65038 Financial reasons Teacher-led centre 
Houhanga Rongo TrustPublic or Community-basedAwhi Whanau Early Childhood Centre, Auckland25107Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
Imagination Station LtdCommercial/ PrivateImagination Station Early Learning Centre, Auckland46599Not compliant with suspension noticeTeacher-led centre
JFIT Burrage LtdCommercial/ PrivateDream Education Programme (9), Auckland46631Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
Kids’ Corner – PartnershipCommercial/ PrivateKids Corner – Rothesay Learning Centre, Auckland20366Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
Kids Create LtdCommercial/ PrivateKids Create Ltd 2, Auckland46442Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
Kids Create LtdCommercial/ PrivateKids Create Ltd 3 East Tamaki, Auckland46642Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
Kids Create LtdCommercial/ PrivateKids Create Ltd 5, Auckland46679Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
Kids Create LtdCommercial/ PrivateKids Create Ltd 1 i, Auckland46266Not compliant with suspension notice Homebased Network
Kids Kingdom Partnership Commercial/ PrivateAwhi Pumau, Kaitaia 47006 Voluntary permanent closure Teacher-led centre 
Kids Land Educare Ltd Partnership Commercial/ PrivateKid’s Land Educare Centre, Auckland 45417Not compliant with suspension notice Teacher-led centre 
Learning Curves MontessoriCommercial/ PrivateLearning Curves Montessori Redwood Ltd, Christchurch70571Financial reasonsTeacher-led centre
Little Red Fox ECE LtdCommercial/ PrivateLittle Red Fox Early Learning Centre Stoke, Nelson48037Not compliant with suspension noticeTeacher-led centre
Little Red Fox LtdCommercial/ PrivateLittle Red Fox ELC Golden Bay48128Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
Love of Learning 1 LtdCommercial/ PrivateOrewa Preschool, Orewa 10000Not compliant with suspension noticeTeacher-led centre 
Matamata Childcare Centres Inc.Public or Community-basedKids on Broadway, Matamata30243Financial reasonsTeacher-led centre
More For Kidz Foundation Charitable Trust Public or Community-basedMore For Kidz Foundation Trust, Auckland 46340 Voluntary permanent closureCasual Teacher-led centre
Morgan Educare Centre LtdCommercial/ PrivateMorgan Educare Centre 2, Hastings55484Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
Mt Albert Baptist Community Trust BoardPublic or Community-basedKids Forever Christian Preschool, Auckland20368Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
Mt Roskill ECC Charitable TrustPublic or Community-basedMt Roskill Early Childhood Centre l, Auckland20375Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
Nga Kohanga National TrustPublic or Community-basedTe Kōhanga Reo o Mere Kārena, Hastings47114Declining rollTe Kōhanga Reo
Nga Kōhanga ReoPublic or Community-basedTe Kōhanga Reo o Te Tane nui a Rangi Murupara 40166 Declining roll Te Kōhanga Reo
Nurture Me Education LtdCommercial/ PrivateNurture Me 2, Auckland46811Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
NZ CompanyCommercial/ PrivateBay Buddies Montessori, Hastings55343Financial reasonsTeacher-led centre
NZ LtdCommercial/ PrivateSt Lukes Shopper’s Creche, Auckland20151Voluntary permanent closureCasual Teacher-led centre
PAUA Early Childhood LtdCommercial/ PrivatePAUA Early Childhood 9 Wanganui45167Declining rollHomebased Network
Play N Learn Childcare LtdCommercial/ PrivateKaitiaki Kids Childcare, Auckland46512Non-compliant with provisional licence conditionsTeacher-led centre
Playcentre Aotea IncPublic or Community-basedThe Key Playcentre, Te Anau90020Voluntary permanent closurePlaycentre
Playcentre Aotea IncPublic or Community-basedRanfurly Playcentre Ranfurly81033Declining rollPlaycentre
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner Home Based, Auckland46793Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Otago/Southland S2 Dunedin45784Not compliant with suspension notice Homebased Network 
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE In-Home Childcare Grey Lynn Q1, Auckland30140Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Wellington Q4, Wellington30226Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE In-Home Childcare Onehunga Q1, Auckland20590Not compliant with suspension notice Homebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE In-Home Childcare Albany Q1, Auckland10043Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE In-Home Childcare Meadowbank Q1, Auckland30141Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE In-Home Childcare Albany, Auckland55470Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Wellington S5, Wellington30213Declining rollHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Wellington S3, Wellington55426 Declining rollHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Bay of Plenty/Rotorua Q2,30252Declining rollHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Hawkes Bay Q3, Hastings55395 Declining roll Homebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE In-Home Childcare Henderson Q1, Auckland30225Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE In-Home Childcare Takanini Q1, Auckland55414Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Hawkes Bay S1 Hastings30191Declining rollHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Hawke’s Bay Q2 Hastings45195Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Canterbury Q2 Burnside, Christchurch30187Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Otago/Southland Q2, Dunedin55469Declining rollHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Canterbury Q1, Christchurch65010Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Whanganui S1 Gonville, Wanganui55497Voluntary permanent closure Homebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Bay of Plenty/Rotorua S255455Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast Q2 Hokitika30264Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast Q1 Blenheim45882Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Wairarapa Q1, Wellington30142Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Wellington Q2 a, Wellington30186Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Wellington S7, Wellington55454 Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Waikato S1 Pirongia30253Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Waikato Q1 Pirongia55423Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Palmerston North Q1 Hokowhitu30144Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE New Plymouth Q2 New Plymouth45869 Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network 
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Palmerston North Q2 Roslyn45903 Voluntary permanent closure Homebased Network 
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE New Plymouth Q1 New Plymouth 55424 Voluntary permanent closure Homebased Network 
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Otago/Southland Q1, Dunedin 45228 Not compliant with suspension notice Homebased Network 
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Whangarei S1, Whangarei55496 Not compliant with suspension notice Homebased Network 
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner Bethlehem, Tauranga 47986 Voluntary permanent closure Teacher-led centre 
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner Enderley, Hamilton47893Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner Bayfair, Tauranga 40313Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre 
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner Manurewa, Auckland 47949 Voluntary permanent closure Teacher-led centre 
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner Frankton, Queenstown46934Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
PORSE/ Rainbow CornerCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner Mangere East, Auckland46968Voluntary permanent closureHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow Corner GroupsCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Canterbury S1, Christchurch65032Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow Corner GroupsCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Wellington Q6, Wellington55095Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow Corner GroupsCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Wellington Q5, Wellington55427Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
PORSE/ Rainbow Corner GroupsCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner, Auckland46626Not compliant with suspension noticeTeacher-led centre
PORSE/ Rainbow Corner GroupsCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner, Auckland47049Not compliant with suspension noticeTeacher-led centre
PORSE/ Rainbow Corner GroupsCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner Flat Bush One, Auckland47746Not compliant with suspension noticeTeacher-led centre
PORSE/ Rainbow Corner GroupsCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner  Flat Bush Two, Auckland47747Not compliant with suspension noticeTeacher-led centre
PORSE/ Rainbow Corner GroupsCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner Gulf Harbour, Whangaparaoa 48000 Not compliant with suspension notice Teacher-led centre 
PORSE/ Rainbow Corner GroupsCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner Raureka, Hastings45858Not compliant with suspension noticeTeacher-led centre
PORSE/ Rainbow Corner GroupsCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner Avenal, Invercargill47892Not compliant with suspension noticeTeacher-led centre
PORSE/ Rainbow Corner GroupsCommercial/ PrivateThe Rainbow Corner Montessori Ltd Feilding50096Not compliant with suspension noticeTeacher-led centre
PORSE/ Rainbow Corner sCommercial/ PrivatePORSE Hawera S1 New Plymouth 55477 Voluntary permanent closure Homebased Network 
Potential Plus Education LtdCommercial/ PrivateNorth Kidz 2, Whangarei10389Voluntary permanent closure Homebased Network 
Precious Kidz Ltd Commercial/ PrivatePrecious Kidz Homebased Care, Auckland47140 Not compliant with suspension noticeHomebased Network
Scallywaggs 2007 LTDCommercial/ PrivateScallywaggs SPROUTS In-Home Childcare Hawke’s Bay 14, Napier30337Declining rollHomebased Network
Scallywaggs 2007 LTDCommercial/ PrivateScallywaggs Sprouts CHB1 Waipukurau55329Declining rollHomebased Network
Shining Lights Charitable TrustPublic or Community-basedShining Lights Christian Preschool, Auckland10219Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
Smart Kids Educare LtdCommercial/ PrivateSmart Kids Educare, Auckland46544Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
St. Kentigern Trust BoardPublic or Community-basedSaint Kentigern Preschool, Auckland45629Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
Te Puna Reo o ManawanuiPublic or Community-basedTe Puna Reo o Manawanui Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland10161 Voluntary permanent closure Teacher-led centre 
Te Waananga O Aotearoa PublicPublic or Community-basedNgā Kākano o Te Mānuka Puna Reo Mangere, Auckland25430Voluntary permanent closureTeacher-led centre
The Centre Education TrustPublic or Community-basedCentre Kidz Preschool, Kapiti45437Declining rollTeacher-led centre
TINY NATION (NZ) LtdCommercial/ PrivateTiny Nation Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast 147312Declining rollHomebased Network
Toddler Town Ltd  Commercial/ PrivateToddler Town – Early Learning Centre, Auckland 10167 Voluntary permanent closure Teacher-led centre 

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