Ebabies @ Owhata - 13/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Ebabies @ Owhata

How well placed is Ebabies @ Owhata 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.


Ebabies @ Owhata is a privately owned education and care centre located on the grounds of Owhata School in Rotorua. It is licensed for 25 children over the age of two years. The centre's roll of 15 children, all identify as Māori and whakapapa to Te Arawa.

The centre's philosophy aims to provide quality care and education that is accessible, affordable and flexible to meet the need of its community. The philosophy also promotes the principles of whakawhanaungatanga, manaakitanga, aroha and tautoko.

The 2015 ERO review identified that the centre needed to focus on providing positive learning experiences and outcomes for children. The key areas for improvement were to:

  • strengthen human resource systems and management

  • build teacher capability to plan and implement an appropriate early childhood curriculum

  • improve access to quality resourcing in the outdoor learning environment

  • address matters of non-compliance in relation to health and safety

  • support teachers to attain and maintain registered teacher status.

ERO observed a settled environment, where caring and positive relationships between teachers and children, create a calm and nurturing atmosphere. The centre owner has made considerable changes to the outdoor environment enabling children access, to explore and play in a more interesting outdoor environment.

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has funded external professional learning and development for leaders and teachers to address these areas for development. However, improvements made as a result of this professional development and support have not been sustained.

ERO has determined that the centre has not made sufficient progress to move to a regular three year review cycle.

The Review Findings

Ebabies at Owhata is not well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Although the centre has had MoE guidance and support alongside professional development, there has been limited progress to address the areas identified in the 2015 ERO report. ERO is concerned about the insufficient improvement and has ongoing concerns about centre governance, management and curriculum design and delivery.

Governance and management systems are not effective. Although centre management has developed a strategic plan and philosophy, they lacks sufficient depth and do not adequately reflect the collective thinking, values and beliefs that underpin the service.

Self review is in the early stages of development. It is not well understood and is mostly focused on compliance and policy review. Self review is not well documented, and any information that is gathered, is not well analysed to support centre management to make good decisions.

Personnel management systems require further improvement. Urgent attention is needed to consistently implement teacher registration expectations and the appraisal process, so that teachers can attain and maintain registered teacher status.

Curriculum design and implementation requires strengthening. Although teachers have developed policies and procedures for aspects of curriculum design and assessment, these are not well defined or understood. The Te Akonga o Ngā Ngaru, 'ripples of learning' curriculum framework and the assessment model identify the values that underpin priorities for children's learning. Strengthening the use of this framework by including awhi, aroha, manaaki, tautoko, whanaungatanga and tiaki is likely to promote a more responsive approach to the holistic needs of children. However, planning and assessment does not yet foster or respond to positive learning outcomes for all children.

Centre leadership expectations and practices are not focused on promoting positive learning outcomes for children. Urgent attention is needed to ensure:

  • comprehensive communication, shared expectations and guidance for teachers so that they are better able to design and review systems to improve their practice

  • a documented approach to assessment practice that integrates - Te Akonga o Ngā Ngaru

  • quality-assurance systems that support the monitoring of compliance matters and implementation

  • effective financial management with strong internal expectations and practices for funding processes, budgeting and resourcing.

Teachers need to build their knowledge about how to recognise children's learning needs and respond to their individual emerging interests. There is a need to reconsider the teacher directed and structured activity approach that is currently the focus for planning. In addition, there is a need to review and improve the quality, range and quantity of resources available to children. It is important that children have access to a rich range of opportunities for learning.

Further engagement and partnerships with whānau, hapū and iwi in this service would strengthen relevant and purposeful relationships. The inclusion of cultural aspects within the curriculum is likely to enhance opportunities for Māori children and their whanau.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ebabies @ Owhata 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

Actions for compliance

ERO found significant areas of non-compliance in the service related to:

  • teacher appraisal and teacher registration

  • curriculum design and delivery including assessment, planning and evaluation

  • self review, including updating the policies relating to child protection, positive guidance and performance management.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7, GMA6, C1,C2, HS 31

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Ebabies @ Owhata. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Ebabies @ Owhata will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

13 October 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

25 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 10 Girls 5

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

13 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2015

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.