Dot Kids Early Learning Centre - Pahiatua - 28/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Dot Kids Early Learning Centre - Pahiatua

How well placed is Dot Kids Early Learning Centre - Pahiatua to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Dot Kids Early Learning Centre is a privately owned, purpose-built, full day service situated in Pahiatua. Many of the children are from rural families in the surrounding district.

Most members of the teaching team are qualified in early childhood education or primary education. A manager is responsible for day-to-day centre operation. A team leader has recently been appointed for children aged over two years.

Since the March 2014 ERO report the property developments to support an increased roll have occurred. The centre now caters for up to 50 children, and 20 can be up to two years of age.

In August 2016, there was a change of ownership to Provincial Childcare Holdings Limited, which now provides management and governance support. A commitment is evident to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi across the organisation. Teachers are involved in external professional learning and development opportunities.

The centre philosophy emphasises the principles of partnerships, relationships, education and care, whakamana, ako, holistic development, open communication, and ongoing assessment, planning and evaluation.

The previous ERO report for Dot Kids Early Learning Centre - Pahiatua identified key next steps for development. These included continuing to strengthen reflective practice, and improving the alignment of strategic and annual planning. Teachers and managers have made some gains in responding to these areas.

The Review Findings

There are many opportunities for children to make decisions about their participation and be involved in their play for extended periods. Children engage positively in activities of interest and enjoy the company of their peers. Familiar routines assist them to develop a sense of belonging.

Teachers successfully use strategies to promote positive learning outcomes for infants and toddlers. Their interactions are unhurried, calm and respectful. They are responsive to children's cues and support their language learning well. Suitable resources encourage children's exploration and discovery.

The curriculum provides a range of opportunities to encourage children's interests, preferences and involvement. Experiences outside the centre extend learning and are based around key community happenings. Staff work collegially with local schools to support children and families as they move to school.

Individual programmes effectively assist children requiring additional learning support and are collaboratively developed with families.

Children's profile books show their learning and progress over time. To support an improved approach, teachers should find out more about the aspirations and goals parents and whānau have for their children's learning.

There is a sound framework to guide teachers in planning to support children's interests. Regular conversations with families inform decisions about resources. Extending the depth and range of teaching strategies is an identified next step.

The centre's 2017 - 2019 strategic plan identifies priorities and goals. Further alignment of centre processes is needed, to support managers to show progress towards meeting these goals and achievement of the centre's vision.

The revised appraisal process provides a sound framework to support teachers and managers to use to grow and develop their practice. Teachers' strengths are acknowledged and valued. The appointment of a team leader should assist in growing leadership capacity and building the quality of teaching.

The centre manager fosters a strong culture of reflection. With external support teachers are strengthening their understanding and use of internal evaluation for improvement. The current inquiry is improving teachers' response to Māori children's language, culture and identity. This remains an ongoing focus.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre managers agree on the following key next steps for Dot Kids Early Learning Centre - Pahiatua to:

  • continue to grow understanding and use of internal evaluation

  • extend assessment and planning practices that promote a bicultural curriculum and Māori children's success as Māori

  • build on annual and strategic planning to more clearly align these processes

  • further develop leadership for teaching and learning. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Dot Kids Early Learning Centre - Pahiatua completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Dot Kids Early Learning Centre - Pahiatua will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

28 June 2017

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service 



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 37, Boys 32

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

28 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

March 2014

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.