Little Darlings Childcare Centre

Education institution number:
40059
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
7
Telephone:
Address:

23 Park Road, Rotorua Central, Rotorua

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ERO’s Akanuku | Assurance Review reports provide information about whether a service meets and maintains regulatory standards. Further information about Akanuku | Assurance Reviews is included at the end of this report.

ERO’s Judgement

Regulatory standards

ERO’s judgement

Curriculum

Not meeting

Premises and facilities

Not meeting

Health and safety

Not meeting

Governance, management and administration

Not meeting

At the time of the review, ERO identified areas of non-compliance with regulatory standards that are an unacceptable risk to children.

Background

Little Darlings Childcare Centre is a privately owned centre. Since the 2018 ERO review the number of children the service is licensed for has decreased upon request of the owner. The centre has not responded to strengthen areas identified in the previous report relating to self review and appraisal.

Summary of Review Findings

The service is not meeting regulatory standards in a significant number of areas.

The service curriculum acknowledges and reflects the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua. Children experience positive relationships with adults in a language-rich environment. The curriculum is non-compliant in relation to involving children in decisions about their learning experiences.

The service must ensure that outdoor equipment and materials are safe and suitable for their intended use. Effective governance and management systems have not been sustained. The service’s premises and health and safety processes do not meet regulatory standards.

Actions for Compliance

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

  • a curriculum consistent with Te Whāriki
  • a curriculum that respects children’s preferences and involves them in decisions about their learning experiences
  • premises, furniture, equipment and materials that are kept safe and maintained in good condition
  • the premises having a current Fire Evacuation Scheme approved by the NZ Fire Service
  • an emergency plan that is reviewed annually and is consistent with the Fire Evacuation Scheme of the building
  • relevant emergency drills carried out on at least a three-monthly basis
  • excursion records that include consistent risk assessment, documentation of adult to child ratios, and parent permission of ratios, the signature of person responsible, method of transport
  • accident records that consistently have evidence that parents have been informed
  • medication records that include evidence of parental acknowledgement
  • all outdoor furniture, equipment and materials being safe and suitable for their intended use
  • an ongoing process of self-review that helps the service maintain and improve the quality of education and care
  • suitable human resource management practices including regular appraisal, are regularly implemented
  • all children’s workers who have access to children are safety checked in accordance to the Children’s Act 2014.

[Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C1, C7, HS1, HS4, HS7, HS8, HS17, HS27, HS28, HS31, PF5, GMA6, GMA7, GMA7a]

Since the onsite visit the service has provided ERO with evidence that shows it has addressed the following non-compliances:

  • items that could topple or fall were removed and door to storage cupboard with items stacked high on shelves, closed and locked (HS6)
  • items that could be poisonous to children removed from reach (HS12)
  • the kitchen door to be closed to ensure children cannot access unsupervised (PF17)
  • nappy change policy was updated to include treating children with dignity and respect (HS3)
  • a curriculum that encourages children to understand and respect other cultures (C6)
  • daily hazard checks to include the list of requirements as specified in HS12 and completed to identify, minimise or eliminate risk (HS12)
  • a written child protection policy that meets all of the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014 (GMA7a)
  • the front gate to be repaired to ensure that children are not able to leave the premises without adult knowledge (PF13).

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence issued to this service provider. ERO will not undertake a further review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets regulatory standards.

Next ERO Review

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

11 February 2021

Information About the Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Little Darlings Childcare Centre

Profile Number

40059

Location

Rotorua

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

12 children, including up to 5 aged under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Service roll

7

Ethnic composition

Māori 3, NZ European/Pākehā 4

Review team on site

1st December 2020

Date of this report

11 February 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, April 2018

Education Review, May 2014

General Information about Assurance Reviews

All services are licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The legal requirements for early childhood services also include the Licensing Criteria for Education and Care Services 2008.

Services must meet the standards in the regulations and the requirements of the licensing criteria to gain and maintain a licence to operate.

ERO undertakes an Akanuku | Assurance Review process in any centre-based service:

  • having its first ERO review – including if it is part of a governing organisation
  • previously identified as ‘not well placed’ or ‘requiring further development’
  • that has moved from a provisional to a full licence
  • that have been re-licenced due to a change of ownership
  • where an Akanuku | Assurance Review process is determined to be appropriate.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements. Before the review, the staff and management of a service 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.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO assesses whether the regulated standards are being met. In particular, ERO looks at a 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 certification; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

As part of an Akanuku | Assurance Review ERO also gathers and records evidence through:

  • discussions with those involved in the service
  • consideration of relevant documentation, including the implementation of health and safety systems
  • observations of the environment/premises, curriculum implementation and teaching practice.

1 Evaluation of Little Darlings Childcare Centre

How well placed is Little Darlings Childcare Centre 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.

Background

Little Darlings Childcare Centre is an all-day education and care service catering for children from birth to school age, in a mixed-age setting. The centre is privately owned and licensed for 28 children including eight up to 2 years of age. All teachers at the centre and the majority of children attending are of Māori descent. 

The centre is located in Western Heights, Rotorua. It has been established for more than thirty years, and has intergenerational connections with families. All centre staff including the centre director are qualified early childhood teachers.

The centre’s vision aims for children to be confident, articulate and caring. In addition, the philosophy states a commitment to promoting te reo and tikanga Māori, and aims to provide a trusting and safe environment for growing healthy and happy tamariki.

Since ERO’s last review in 2015, the centre director with support from the staff has developed a strategic and annual plan, developed an appraisal process for teachers, and is developing self-review practice.

The Review Findings

Positive and respectful relationships between children, whānau and teachers are well established. These relationships are based on genuine acceptance and respect. Teachers are welcoming and inclusive of all families and whānau. Children demonstrate trust in their teachers, who know them and their families well.

The centre’s vision effectively promotes positive learning outcomes for all children. Protocols and practices (kaupapa) that embrace the value of whanaungatanga are well established. This approach to promoting learning is contributing to the potential and self-belief of Māori and other children.

The centre’s vision and philosophy are fundamental to curriculum design and implementation. Features of the curriculum are:

  • the integration of bicultural perspectives that acknowledge language, culture and identity of Māori children
  • opportunities for children to engage with Papatūānuku, learn through Māori concepts, and visit places of significance in the community
  • the well-resourced indoor and outdoor environments that promote curiosity, and exploration.

Children benefit from authentic opportunities to engage with and make sense of their world.

Assessment practice builds children’s identity as successful learners. Individual learning journals provide a valued record of children’s participation and learning over time. Teachers notice and are responsive to children’s interests and learning dispositions when planning the curriculum.

Teachers use a range of effective strategies to engage children in positive learning experiences. They include:

  • nurturing interactions with children up to two years in a mixed-age setting
  • fostering children’s social skills and empathy for others
  • the intentional focus on growing children’s oral language, confidence, and capability
  • encouraging physical challenge and problem solving through skilful support
  • significant periods of uninterrupted play enabling children to follow their interests, make choices and revisit learning.

These strategies contribute to happy, articulate, confident and caring tamariki.

Key Next Steps

While the director and teachers undertake self review, the process and outcomes are mainly shared verbally. There is a need to strengthen the documentation of self-review processes and findings to ascertain what is working well, what needs to change, and to monitor the ongoing effectiveness of change.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Little Darlings Childcare Centre 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.

To improve current practice, the early childhood service management should clearly document the centre's appraisal procedure.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Little Darlings Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

19 April 2018 

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 

Location

Rotorua

Ministry of Education profile number

40059

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

28 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll

14

Gender composition

Boys                      8

Girls                       6

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā

9
5

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:2

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

19 April 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Supplementary Review

June 2012

Supplementary Review

June 2011

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.