The company that runs a Hawke's Bay early childhood centre that closed amid a shortage of staff says it "regrets" not providing sufficient notice to parents.
Lollipops Hastings announced it would permanently close "from the end of the day" at 6pm on Thursday through an email sent to parents.
Evolve Education Group chief operating officer Craig Presland said the decision to close the centre was based on "ongoing difficulties in finding and recruiting qualified teachers in the Hawke's Bay region", particularly in Hastings.
"Evolve Education Group regrets the decision to close this centre last Thursday evening without providing sufficient notice to the parents of the children attending the centre," he said.
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Presland said while the centre endeavoured to stay open in order to provide some notice to parents, it simply didn't have the required level of qualified staff.
"Our management team and staff at the centre were concerned about child safety as a result of the lack of qualified teachers," he said.
"We apologise to all parents and their families involved, as well as to the wider Hastings community."
Ministry of Education deputy secretary sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said ECE services must maintain the correct adult-to-child ratio to operate.
For example, if between 11 and 15 children under the age of 2 are attending a centre, there must be at least three staff, while 10 staff would be needed for between 136 and 150 children aged over 2.
"The ratio means that there can be quality teaching and that the children are safe," Casey said.