Two early childhood teachers who admitted to mistreating young children in their care can continue to teach, although it will be under strict conditions.
Mary Lucia Herepo Ngapo and her daughter Rebecca Rose Ngapo worked at the Te Rau Oriwa Early Learning Centre in Tokoroa, which is operated by Te Wananga o Aotearoa.
Mary Ngapo was employed as manager of the centre, and her daughter Rebecca Ngapo was employed as an educator.
Both women have admitted to allegations that they force-fed and mistreated children in their care while working at the centre, a Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal decision said.
Rebecca Ngapo admitted to shovelling spoonfuls of food into a child's mouth, when the child opened their mouth to breath or cry.
She also admitted to force-feeding another child and yelling at the child to "hurry up" and "swallow it".
Rebecca Ngapo admitted to confining children in a small room with the door closed for periods of at least five minutes at a time, throwing balls at children to get their attention, and rough handling children.
Her mother, Mary Ngapo, admitted to holding a child's head back and force-feeding them stew, which the child did not want to eat.
The tribunal's ruling confirmed the decision by the wananga to dismiss the two staff members, Te Wananga o Aotearoa chief executive Jim Mather said.
Mather said a robust investigation was carried out after the allegations were raised and the welfare of their children was "paramount".
He said a new centre manager was appointed to the centre earlier this year.
Mather said a recent review conducted by the Education Review Office said: "the change of leadership had contributed to favourable improvements in centre operations for whanau, kaimahi and children."
Mather said the centre was focused on delivering a high-quality service to the 53 children attending, as well as building relationships with the Tokoroa community.