Riverton Childcare - 28/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Riverton Childcare

How well placed is Riverton Childcare 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.


Riverton Childcare is a privately owned education and care service in the coastal town of Riverton, Southland. It is close to two town schools and other community facilities. The centre has recently been given the opportunity to join the Western-Central Southland Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

Riverton Childcare provides all day education and care for children from birth-to-five years of age. It is licensed for up to 32 children. There is a separate area for children under two. Older toddlers have some shared play with children who are over two. An additional building, close to the centre, is being refurbished to cater for increased numbers of children under two.

The owner/centre manager manages the day-to-day operations of the centre and leads a teaching team which is mostly unchanged since the last ERO review. Most staff are qualified. Some teachers are long serving at the centre.

The centre's philosophy for children includes promoting active engagement in learning, persistence, creative problem solving and self-directed learning.

Since the last ERO review in 2014 the centre has:

  • improved assessment and planning processes for children

  • increased teachers' and children's knowledge and use of te reo Māori

  • improved the consistency of staffing in the under two area

  • extended the indoor teaching and learning space. 

The Review Findings

Each child's interests, strengths and needs are effectively used as the basis of their education and care. Teachers know children and their families well and make strong connections between children's learning experiences and their lives beyond the centre. Teachers work closely with families and whānau to identify and review children's individual learning goals and carefully plan how they will support the children to achieve these.

Teaching is effective in supporting children to develop the skills and attitudes valued by parents and staff. ERO observed responsive, respectful and reciprocal interactions between teachers and children. Children are secure and confident in their relationships with their teachers and other children. Teachers actively participate in child-directed play and use this as an opportunity to encourage and extend children's oral language. Children are well supported to develop their independent problem-solving and social skills. Teachers make good use of professional development and external advice to plan for and respond to the needs of children with additional needs.

A curriculum priority of regular excursions into the community is clearly evident. Children have many and varied opportunities to explore their community and build their relationships and skills in meaningful contexts. Teachers continue to make very good use of the local environment and services/organisations to enhance children's sense of belonging and identity and to support their learning.

The learning environment, particularly the outdoor environment, provides for choice, variety and challenge for children.

Increased use of te reo Māori and integration of Māori tikanga and perspectives in daily programmes are supporting all children to learn more about New Zealand's bicultural heritage. Māori children's language, identity and culture are increasingly acknowledged and responded to.

Leaders are improvement focused and have put in a place a range of processes that support effective teaching and learning practices. These include:

  • meaningful professional learning opportunities and appraisal for teachers

  • specific expectations for assessment and planning that respond to children's needs and families' aspirations

  • collaborative approaches to planning and internal evaluation

  • developing leadership capabilities in the staff.

Internal evaluation is well planned, contains relevant analysis and leads to changes and improvements.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for this service are to continue to extend internal evaluation. This should include:

  • more regularly reviewing their philosophy for teaching and learning and how well this is being implemented

  • reviewing how well the under-two environment supports children's learning and development and using this review to inform the development of the new building

  • consistently evaluating the impact of planned reviews and the effectiveness of teaching.

The centre manager should ensure that all staff are appraised annually.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Riverton Childcare 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 Riverton Childcare will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

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

32 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls: 32 Boys: 28

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Meets minimum requirements

Over 2


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

28 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

April 2010

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.