Apple Tree Childcare Centre - 25/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Apple Tree Childcare Centre

How well placed is Apple Tree 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.


Apple Tree Childcare in Glenfield is licensed for 20 children including up to 16 under two years of age. It is one of three North Shore centres, owned by The Apple Tree Childcare Centres Ltd. The director/owner works across the three centres to support the day-to-day operations.

The owner is an experienced teacher and is supported by a dedicated centre manager. This centre has four registered teachers and two support staff. Teachers reflect the diverse community and use children’s home languages routinely throughout the day.

Since the 2013 ERO review a new head teacher and several new teachers have been appointed. The 2013 report noted high quality care and opportunities for children to make choices, initiate play and problem solve. These quality practices continue to be a feature of this centre.

The Apple Tree philosophy of 'create a home away from home, providing warmth, trust, respect and aroha' guides centre practices. Teachers' education and care for children is guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews in the Apple Tree Childcare Centres Ltd organisation.

The Review Findings

Children play confidently and with enthusiasm. They benefit from a high staff-to-child ratio that provides good support for their play, learning and care. Children particularly benefit from the consistency of staff and nurturing, individualised, and gentle care that is sensitive to their moods and needs.

Teachers demonstrate a strong commitment to the care of babies and toddlers. They are patient and talk gently to children about their play and learning. Self-help is strongly promoted through the programme and centre routines.

Centre leaders and teachers have a strong focus on building bicultural practice and working in partnership with whānau. Leaders support teachers to become familiar and more confident with te reo and tikanga Māori through daily routines and as children play. Leaders are keen to strengthen this aspect of teacher practice with ongoing professional learning to build capability and establish consistent practice across all learning areas.

There is a strong focus on relationship building between teachers and parents/whānau, ensuring programmes are centred on the individual interests of children. Teachers use parents' aspirations and feedback from home to enhance their knowledge of children's strengths and interests.

The centre's philosophy is evident in children's portfolios, which document their learning experiences within the centre. These individual assessment records provide opportunities for teachers to reflect on children's learning and plan for next learning steps. Relevant links are made to Te Whāriki. Teachers could now lift the quality of portfolios by including recognition of children's cultural identity in their learning stories.

The new head teacher has worked well to build a cohesive and dedicated team of teachers. Teachers' practice reflects a commitment to the centre's philosophy. They work well together and respect each other's strengths and talents.

Managers continue to work on refining teacher appraisal processes. The owner now needs to adapt the performance appraisal policy to make specific provision for the head teacher's appraisal.

Apple Tree systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in its three centres have been established. Strengthening alignment between the philosophy, and strategic and annual plans will further guide future direction. A variety of systems and processes contribute to the teaching team’s internal evaluation. It is now timely to include outcomes for children in the evaluation process.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the centre director owner and centre manager agree that key next steps include reviewing the quality of resources to develop the complexity of children's play.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Apple Tree 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Apple Tree Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

25 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


Glenfield, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

20 children, including up to 16 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 9 Boys 8

Ethnic composition



Percentage of qualified teachers


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

25 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2013

Education Review

August 2010

Education Review

April 2007

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.