An early childhood education network has said special attention needs to be paid to the children involved in a tree toppling on a kids' play area in Auckland.

Four children were injured, one critical and one serious, after the tree fell on them at Discoveries Educare in Newmarket this afternoon.

ChildForum chief executive Dr Sarah Alexander said those involved will be "affected emotionally".

"Children will need cuddles and understanding now.


"Many may not outwardly show emotional effects for some days or weeks but such an event will have consequences on the children leading possibly to sleep disturbance and uncharacteristic behaviour and responses.

"Some may be more scared than others of being alone without an adult beside them or being near high objects or trees."

She said she wasn't arguing that trees should be banned from early childhood centres.

Dr Alexander said the incident highlighted several key issues in the way childhood centres are regulated.

"This incident could, perhaps, lead to the Ministry of Education looking into what training owners and teachers have and whether trees are regularly checked by an expert in the care of trees - an arborist.

"When there are high winds or other adverse weather conditions it is important that teachers are allowed to exercise flexibility in their delivery of the curriculum and are trusted to use their judgment to keep children indoors or away from areas that can become unsafe very quickly," Dr Alexander said.